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Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today ridiculed Congress's claim that the presidential poll was a fight between two ideologies and said the result was a foregone conclusion as 38 political parties were supporting Ram Nath Kovind. The Information and Broadcasting minister, infact, wondered why the UPA had fielded a candidate. Naidu, alongwith the NDA presidential candidate Kovind and Union minister J P Nadda arrived at Parwanoo in Himachal Pradesh today to meet BJP MLAs and MPs for their support. Talking to the media persons, Naidu said that Kovind's victory was a foregone conclusion as he enjoyed the support of 38 political parties and wondered why the UPA had fielded its candidate. He ridiculed the claim of the Congress that it was a fight between two ideologies and its call for a conscience vote. He said that in the past also Congress leader and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had given call for a conscience vote and the official candidate of the party, Sanjeeva Reddy, was defeated. The fate of Meira Kumar would be no different, he claimed referring to the opposition nominee. Referring to the attack on Amarnath pilgrims, Naidu said that a high level meeting has been convened on the issue and pleaded to political parties not to politicise the matter. BJP's Himachal Pradesh incharge Mangal Pandey also said that Kovind's victory was certain and expressed confidence that he would get more votes than the strength of the party in the Assembly inspite of the fact that Congress was in power in the state. Kovind was scheduled to reach Shimla but the programme was changed at the last minute and the meeting of BJP MLAs was called at Parwanoo. He was given a rousing reception on his arrival at Parwanoo where leader of the opposition P K Dhumal honoured him by presenting him a Himachali cap and shawl. The BJP has 28 MLAs in the 68 member house and enjoys the support of two independents. The BJP has also four Lok Sabha and one Rajya Sabha MPs from the state.
The Congress has two Rajya Sabha members and 36 MLAs and also claims the support of two independents.