Naveen Patnaik announces BJD support for Ram Nath Kovind

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Bunbaneswar: Biju Janata Dal president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday announced his party’s support to NDA presidential poll candidate Ram Nath Kovind.
“After discussing with senior party leaders, BJD has decided to support the candidature of Ram Nath Kovind,” Patnaik told reporters after receiving a telephone call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Elaborating the reasons behind BJD’s support to the NDA candidate, Patnaik said Ram Nath Kovind is an eminent lawyer belonging to the scheduled caste community.
“The office of the President of India is above political consideration and Biju Janata Dal wants to keep it above the politics,” he said.

Stating that the Prime Minister spoke to him about the candidature of Ram Nath Kovind, Patnaik said, “He (PM) sought BJD’s support in this regard.” “As you know, the last time when presidential elections were held, BJD had proposed the name of PA Sangma, an eminent leader from the tribal community. Based on the request of BJD, many parties including the BJP had supported his nomination,” he said.