Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought the support of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami for the NDA’s vice-presidential candidate M Venkaiah Naidu.
The prime minister spoke to Palaniswami, who leads the Amma faction of the ruling AIADMK, over the phone and thanked him for supporting the NDA’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind, an official release issued here late last night said.
“Palaniswami extended his greetings to Naidu,” it added. The 68-year-old Naidu was yesterday chosen the NDA’s vice presidential candidate at a meeting of the BJP parliamentary board.
His nomination is seen as part of the BJP’s attempts to expand in south India, which has been identified by party chief Amit Shah as a key region for growth before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The two-time BJP president is pitted against Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who was chosen by an alliance of 18 opposition parties, including the Congress, but his election is almost inevitable due to the NDA’s huge numerical superiority over the opposition.