Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said the suggestions of the opposition parties did play a role in the NDA picking Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as its presidential nominee. "I hope they (opposition) would not have any reason to oppose the candidature of Ram Nath Kovind because of his background, non-controversial nature, and sound legal and social background. "I only hope that the opposition parties will support Kovindji and join us in getting him elected unanimously as the President of India," he told reporters. The three-member committee, formed by BJP chief Amit Shah to hold consultations with the political parties on the issue, conveyed its views based on the suggestions of the allies and opposition parties to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah, Naidu said, adding that they took these into account. Besides Naidu, Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley were the other members of the committee. Naidu recalled that Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was unanimously elected as the president and there was an "understanding" among all the major parties when A P J Abdul Kalam was elected to the country's top constitutional post. Despite a majority, the BJP reached out to all the political parties "in the spirit of democracy", the urban development minister said. Before Kovind's name was announced, Modi had spoken to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, seeking their support to the NDA candidate for the presidential polls. Naidu said the prime minister had also spoken to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, whose Telugu Desam Party is an ally of the BJP in the NDA, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao and some other leaders.
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