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Presidential Election 2017: Ram Nath Kovind meets Naveen Patnaik, BJD MLAs, MPs in Bhubaneshwar

Bhubaneswar: NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind on Friday met ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLAs and MPs at the Odisha Assembly and had lunch with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during his one-day visit in Bhubaneshwar.

Kovind addressed the BJD MLAs and MPs at the Assembly conference hall after the chief minister's brief introduction. The meeting lasted about an hour, a legislator said.

File image of Ram Nath Kovind. PTI

File image of Ram Nath Kovind. PTI

Before the meeting, Patnaik, Kovind and Union health minister and senior BJP leader JP Nadda raised hands in unison, he said.

"I am very happy to be here and thankful to the BJD led by Naveen Patnaik for supporting me," Kovind told reporters after lunch with the chief minister.

Kovind was earlier welcomed by leaders of both BJD and BJP at the city airport on his arrival by a special flight.

Kovind's meeting with BJD legislators and MPs was considered as a mere formality as Patnaik had already announced his party's support to the NDA nominee describing him as a "distinguished dalit leader."

Kovind, accompanied by Nadda, spent around an hour at Naveen Niwas, the chief minister's residence near the city airport, for the luncheon meeting with Patnaik.

The ruling BJD has 117 MLAs in 147-member Odisha Assembly and 28 MPs (20 in Lok Sabha and eight in Rajya Sabha).

Kovind is also scheduled to garland the statue of Buxi Jagabandhu and meet BJP MLAs and leaders at the party's legislature party leader KV Singhdeo's residence before leaving for New Delhi.

Published Date: Jul 14, 2017 15:02 PM | Updated Date: Jul 14, 2017 15:02 PM

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