AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) to support NDA in Prez poll

Later, an release from AIADMK PTA said Mr Amit Shah spoke to Mr Panneerselvam over phone and thanked him for his decision tosupport the NDA's Presidential nominee.

Keshari Nath Tripathi, who is now the governor of West Bengal, will take additional responsibility, till a replacement to Ram Nath Kovind is announced. 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.

Shiv Sena and the People's Democratic Party, both NDA constituents, too, have pledged support to Kovind.

With the backing of parties outside the alliance like TRS (2 percent), AIADMK (5.39 percent), YSR Congress (1.53 percent) and BJD (2.99 percent), the NDA's support would cross the half way mark comfortably to reach almost 61 percent in the July 17 battle.

Kovind was till Monday the Bihar Governor and shared a warm relationship with Nitish Kumar. "We have confidence in Kovind that he would discharge his duties as a good administrator", the former CM said.Meanwhile, the supporters of the AIADMK (Amma) deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran met at his residence on Thursday morning to decide on the next course of faction.

The CPI-M and other opposition parties will be meeting in Delhi on June 22 to discuss next steps on the presidential elections.

The names of Meira Kumar and Shinde have been floated to counter the NDA so that parties like the BSP would have no problem going against the NDA Dalit candidate.

"It has become critical election, it has become battle of ideology, it has become battle for safeguarding the Constitution, safeguarding the secular democracy", he added.

Minister Raju took exception to Ramasamy's statement and said Chief Minister K Palaniswami had extended Amma faction's support to Kovind since he hailed from a "very backward community", indicating at his Dalit background.

  • Leroy Wright