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JD(U) Which Voted for Ram Nath Kovind Will Support Gopal Gandhi for V-P

JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi said Gopalkrishna Gandhi is better positioned to occupy the office of Vice President.

Updated:July 17, 2017, 10:49 PM IST
JD(U) Which Voted for Ram Nath Kovind Will Support Gopal Gandhi for V-P
File photo of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.
New Delhi: The JD(U) will support Opposition’s vice-presidential candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi over Venkaiah Naidu, the party said minutes after the BJP revealed its nominee for the post after much suspense.

“Gopalkrishna Gandhi is our V-P candidate... We have experience of working with Naidu during our time with the NDA, but Gandhi is better positioned for occupying the office of Vice President,” JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi said on Monday.

By choosing to back the Opposition pick, Nitish Kumar has again sent a message to both the BJP as well as allies Congress and RJD that his support can’t be taken for granted. The Bihar Chief Minister had last month endorsed BJP’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, sending all poll math for a toss and putting his alliance partners on notice.

JD(U) on Sunday had skipped a meeting of opposition parties on the elections, which was addressed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The candidature of Gandhi is being supported by 18 opposition parties.

When asked about the absence, party chief Sharad Yadav had said it was not a boycott and their party leaders had earlier met Gandhi.

“I myself met Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the Opposition's vice-president candidate and conveyed to him that, in the wake of the current situation it won't be good for us to attend a meeting called by the Opposition. Our relation with Meira Kumar is very old and she will also be there. It won't look good on our part to go there,” Yadav had said.

Perhaps to keep the scales balanced, the party had also skipped a meeting called by the NDA government, but said it was just due to a busy schedule, and not due to any conflict.

Nitish Kumar’s decision to support Kovind in the presidential polls had plunged the mahagathbandhan in Bihar into turmoil, with analysts predicting it could crumble any time. The biggest alliance partner Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is in a fix with Kumar distancing himself from the corruption charges against the RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav and his family, and seeking his son Tejashwi Yadav’s resignation as a pre-condition for the coalition.
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