NEW DELHI: Reaching out to opposition parties, NDA's presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind today said the post of president is above party politics and he will strive to maintain its dignity.
The 71-year-old said after filing his nomination papers that he had ceased to belong to any political party after he became governor of Bihar in 2015.
"Ever since I became governor, I don't belong to any political party. The post of president is above party politics. I am thankful to everybody for their support," he told reporters.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a battery of NDA chief ministers and party leaders accompanied Kovind as he filed his papers for the July 17 presidential election in which his victory appears to be almost certain.
"I will do my best to maintain dignity of the high office of the president," he said.
Referring to national security, Kovind said, "The president is also the supreme commander of all three forces. It is our responsibility to keep our border secure."
BJP president Amit Shah and party veterans L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were present on the occasion as were all chief ministers of BJP-ruled states and its allies, except Manohar Parrikar of Goa and Mehbooba Mufti of Jammu and Kashmir.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami also attended the event.
Besides NDA constituents, which comprise over 48.6 per cent of votes in the electoral college that will elect the next president, regional parties such as the AIADMK, BJD, TRS and JD(U) have also announced their support to the Dalit leader, making his win a foregone conclusion unless there's a drastic change in the situation.
With the support of these parties, Kovind is set to get more than 61 per cent of votes in the electoral college.