New Delhi : Indicating that he would like to walk the path shown by three former Presidents — Dr Rajendra Prasad, Dr Radhakrishnan and Dr APJ Kalam —, NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind said he would like to uphold the tratidion set by these Presidents. “A President’s post is the most dignified position in a democratic set-up and India’s democracy being biggest in the world it brings huge constitutional responsibility on me which I would try and uphold,” Kovind told journalists soon after filing his nomination papers at the Lok Sabha on Friday.
Kovind has filed three sets of nomination papers for the July 17 election before the Lok Sabha Secretary General Anup Mishra in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and a host of chief ministers and union ministers besides two party stalwarts LK Advani and M M Joshi.
One additional set of papers would be filed on June 28, the last day of filing of the nominations papers.
Contarary to Kovind’s extremely low profile image, the BJP made the otherwise low key exercise into a grand show, roping in a number of non-BJP leaders including Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu, Telangana’s TRS chief and CM K Chandrashekhar Rao, Tamil Nadu CM EK Palaniswamy and ageing Prakash Singh Badal of the Akali Dal. While Badal and Naidu are part of NDA camp, Rao and Palanisawmy have been wooed by the BJP for the presidential election. But BJP ally Shiv Sena was conspicuous in its absence, so was BJD’s Naveen Patnaik. Both have extended their support to Kovind.
The impressive gathering of India’s top political leaders clearly appeared to be the show of strength with Modi leading the pack. All the leaders — the proposers and seconders and others—met at the Parliament Library building first for a brief meeting around 11.30 am and from there they walked to the main building, a distance of about 50 metres, in scorchig heat but waving to the waiting TV crews and cameramen, for completing the formality inside the office of the Secretary General.
Chief Ministers Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Devendra Fadnvis, Dr Raman Singh, Vasundhara Raje, Sarbanand Sonowal, Manoharlal Khattar, Yogi Adityanath, Union ministers Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ananthkumar, Thaavarchand Gehlot, Menka Gandhi, Radhamohan Singh, Smriti Irani, Uma Bharti and party general secretary Ramlal, Bhupendra Yadav and Kailash Vijayvargiya were among those seen with the delegation.