The NDA's presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind today met BJP MLAs and MPs from Gujarat in Gandhinagar as part of his nationwide tour to garner support.
Before heading to Gandhinagar to meet MPs, MLAs, and core committee members of the ruling BJP, Kovind was accorded grand welcome at the airport here in the presence of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari and senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya were accompanying Kovind.
Kovind was felicitated by the leaders of the Koli community to which he belongs.
In a brief address at the airport soon after landing here, Kovind said Gujarat is his "second home" after Uttar Pradesh, his home state.
"Gujarat is not new to me. I have been frequently visiting the state since last 30-32 years. The name of the state is associated with Bapu (M K Gandhi) and Sardar Patel. But this state has given two prime ministers, and I got a chance to work with respected Morarji Desai for three years," Kovind said.
"Since 1970, I used to come to south Gujarat, in Surat and Valsad. And after that, I have visited all of Saurashtra. I some time say that Gujarat is my second state. Uttar Pradesh is my home state, and when I started my contact tour (sampark yatra) as a presidential candidate, on the first day I went to my Maa, my Matrubhumi (home state) Uttar Pradesh," he said.
Kovind said he has so far visited twenty five states, with Gujarat being the 25th.
"It is said that when you start out for a big work, pious work, you visit two houses. First is where you were born, and second the state which I have considered as my home state, which is Gujarat," the ex-Bihar Governor said.
He also said he will get blessings from people of Gujarat.
BJP president Amit Shah and state party in-charge Bhupendra Yadav were also scheduled to arrive here with Kovind but had to cancel their tour as they had to attend a programme in Delhi, the party sources said.
The voting for the presidential election is scheduled on Monday and the counting will take place on July 20.
The electoral college, which elects the president through the system of proportional representation, comprises elected MPs and members of state legislative assemblies.
Interestingly, Opposition Presidential nominee Meira Kumar had started her nation-wide campaign from the Sabarmati Ashram here.
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