Mumbai: The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA)'s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind will arrive in Mumbai on Saturday on a brief campaign visit for the ensuing 17 July presidential elections, an official said on Wednesday.
Kovind will reach Mumbai airport by 10 am where he will be welcomed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Raosaheb Danve.
Later, he will go to the Garware Club at Churchgate, where top BJP leaders and other NDA leaders will receive him. He will address a meeting of legislators and parliamentarians.
He will depart from Mumbai in the afternoon.
In Maharashtra, the NDA constituents, comprising BJP, Shiv Sena, Republican Party of India (A) and other smaller parties, have announced support for Kovind.
However, Kovind is not scheduled to meet Shiv Sena presiden Uddhav Thackeray at his residence when he visits Mumbai on Saturday, BJP sources said.
Significantly, Pranab Mukherjee and Pratibha Patil, a presidential candidates of the UPA, had visited the then Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray at his residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra as the party had broken ranks with the NDA in the past two elections for the highest constitutional office.
Uddhav had announced his party's support for Kovind afte a meeting of the Shiv Sena leaders here last month.
"Kovind is a good candidate, a straight-forward perso from a simple family and has the potential to work for th country's benefit," he had said, after dithering for a da following the announcement of Kovind's candidature by the BJP followed by its endorsement by most other NDA partners.
The Sena's announcement to support Kovind had come amid sever strains in the relations of the party with the BJP ove a host of issues.
The party had earlier pitched for Rashtriya Swayamseva Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat as its first preference fo the top office.
Sena MP Sanjay Raut had said, "If India has to be made 'Hindu Rashtra', Bhagwat will be a good choice for President."
After Bhagwat ruled himself out of the race, the Sena had suggested agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan's name fo the post, saying he will be able to provide solutions to the deepening agrarian crisis in several parts of the country.
BJP president Amit Shah had met Thackeray last month a 'Matoshree' to enlist the party's support for the NDA' presidential candidate. Sena has 18 MPs and 63 MLAs.
The voting for the presidential election is scheduled on 17 July and the counting will take place on July 20, four day before President Pranab Mukherjee's term ends.
Polling for the Presidential election — in which Kovind is challenged by the united opposition candidate Meira Kumar — will be held on 17 July and the results will be announced on 20 July.
Updated Date: Jul 12, 2017 21:04 PM