Presidential nominee Ram Nath in Bhubaneswar, meets BJD MPs, MLAs

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Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today rejected the Congress claim and categorically ruled out the possibility of any cross voting by the BJD lawmakers in the presidential election scheduled on July 17. Kovind will then head to Gandhinagar, where he will hold a meeting with BJP MP from Gujarat, state legislators and the party's BJP's core committee members regarding the upcoming presidential election. He thanked the full fledged support of the BJD led by Naveen Patnaik.

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".

Instead, Union minister Nitin Gadkari and senior party leader Kailash Vijayvargiya will accompany Kovind.

Kovind also addressed the BJD MLAs and MPs after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's short speech.

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"As per the direction of the party's central leadership, we have chose to support the NDA nominee in the presidential election", Meena, a former BJP leader, told PTI.

The Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati had earlier claimed that many BJD and BJP MLAs will cross vote in favour of Meira Kumar, the Opposition candidate for the presidential elections.

NDA's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind met BJD MLAs and MPs at Orissa Assembly Friday. By late evening, all three leaders will return to Delhi."A grand reception has been organised for Ram Nath Kovind", added Vaghani".

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