New Delhi: The government has begun the hunt for a house for the Presidential nominee of the NDA Ram Nath Kovind in Lutyens’ Delhi even while his poll managers went on an overdrive on Tuesday to ready four sets of nomination papers. The BJP is bracing up to unveil an extensive campaign outreach by the Presidential nominee in all states with an eye to “hard-sell the Dalit card”.
Kovind, who quit as Governor of Bihar on Tuesday, “needs a house befitting his stature, besides allowing him to run the Presidential election campaign smoothly”. Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu is learnt to have asked officials to look at the rule book to check if Kovind could be provided with an official bungalow. “In the event the rule book prohibits allotting a bungalow to a Presidential candidate, one of the BJP MPs will be asked to spare the allotted accommodation for the use by Kovind till he moves into the Rashtrapati Bhavan,” sources said.
The BJP ensured on Tuesday that two sets of nomination papers were complete will all the required signatures. The BJP is readying four sets of nomination papers, which are to be proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP chief Amit Shah (he’s an MLA), Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandra Babu Naidu and former Punjab CM Prakash Singh Badal. The Finance Minister Arun Jaitely, besides other senior ministers will second the nomination papers.
”Each nomination paper will bear 120 signatures of MPs and MLAs, who are coming from all parts of the country to the residences of Union Ministers Ananth Kumar and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, besides the party whip in the Lok Sabha Rakesh Singh,” said a senior BJP functionary, who’s overseeing the exercise. He added that two sets of papers have got all the required signatures. While MPs and MLAs of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are coming to the residence of Naqvi, others are signing the papers at Kumar and Singh’s residences.
Kovind, 71, is expected to file his nomination papers on June 23. Prime Minister is, incidentally, embarking on a bilateral visit to the US on June 24.
“The campaign schedule of the Presidential candidate of the NDA is ready and he will connect with most of the legislators across the country. He will not just write letters to the legislators, but meet them in the state capitals and engage them in discussions on issues confronting the country,” sources said, who added that Ananth Kumar, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and a battery of BJP leaders will assist Kovind in his campaigning.