NEW DELHI: With the NDA’s Presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind likely to file one more nomination paper on Wednesday, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu has ruled out himself from the race for the Vice Presidential election. With the Presidential election approaching, the BJP joined in the war of words between the JD (U) and Congress, saying that there is natural admiration between the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.
Sources in the BJP said that Naidu would submit another set of nomination paper on behalf of Kovind on Wednesday, which is also the last date for filing of nominations. The joint candidate put up by the Opposition Meira Kumar is also slated to file her nomination papers on Wednesday. Kovind on June 23 had filed three sets of nomination papers. After wrapping up his visits to Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Kovind in the company of Naidu would be leaving for Srinagar on Wednesday, while Union Minister for external affairs Sushma Swaraj would join him for his visit to Panchkula for meeting with legislators from Punjab and Haryana.
Meanwhile, Naidu told reporters that he would not be a candidate for the Vice-President’s post even if compelled since he likes being with the people. He added that he is not keen for ceremonial positions and would continue serving the people.
In the meantime, the BJP jumped in the war of words going on between the Congress-RJD and the JD (U) after Kumar announced support of the party for Kovind. The BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao told reporters that there existed mutual admiration between Modi and Kumar. Rao claimed that the grand alliance in Bihar has too many contradictions, which will only continue becoming more acute in future. The BJP leader charged that the RJD leadership is facing too many corruption allegations for the comfort of the state chief minister. He added that the grand alliance in Bihar seemed on the verge of collapse.