NDA presidential candidate meets BJP and JD(S) leaders in state
A week after opposition presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha’s visit to Bengaluru, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu met with Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal (secular) leaders in the city to win their support in the subsequent elections.
As Ms Murmu arrived in the city on Sunday afternoon, she attended the meeting of BJP lawmakers and MPs at a hotel in the evening. The BJP meeting chaired by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, was also attended by former Chief Ministers BS Yediyurappa and Jagadish Shettar, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, BJP State Chairman Nalin Kumar Kateel and a crowd of ministers.
The BJP has 122 legislators (including two independents and a chairman), 25 Lok Sabha members and six Rajya Sabha members who are eligible to vote in presidential elections. The JD(S) has 32 legislators (including two who were suspended for cross-voting in recent Rajya Sabha elections), one Lok Sabha and one Rajya Sabha member who can vote.
BJP sources said Ms. Murmu, who began her speech in Kannada, highlighted the contribution of Sangolli Rayanna, Basavanna, Kittur Rani Chennamma and Sir M. Visveswaraya to the land, and the historic contribution of Rashtrakutas, Kadamba, Chalukyas , Vijayanagar. and the Mysuru Wadiyar dynasties. Tracing her growth from Mayurbani to Odisha and later her professional and political growth, Ms Murmu solicited votes from lawmakers and MPs.
Later, the NDA Presidential candidate also met former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and JD(S) leaders at his residence in the presence of Mr Bommai, Union Ministers Kishan Reddy and M Joshi, and BJP General Secretary CT Ravi.
While Mr Sinha, the opposition candidate, had not met Mr Gowda, JD(S) leaders said the party had found Ms Murmu as a suitable candidate for the post, indicating their support for her. Although there is much speculation about a broader political agreement between the BJP and the JD(S), the regional party has in recent months avoided any open agreement with the saffron party on the communal optics.
JD(S) sources said the meeting was not set until after the presidential candidate arrived in Bangalore, and Ms. Murmu formally requested JD(S)’s support for her candidacy. She was informed that the party will make the decision at the parliamentary bureau meeting where her candidacy will be discussed. “It is a pride that a person from a tribal community is a candidate and we believe that it is better to support him. More or less, we will give him our support,” JD(S) parliamentary council chairman HK Kumaraswamy told reporters.