Shekhawat won’t tour; NDA to mobilise support


New Delhi : Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, the presidential nominee backed by the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA), will not leave the capital to campaign but NDA leaders will tour the country and mobilize support for him.

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After Monday's scrutiny for the presidential elections of July 19, there are only two candidates in the fray – Shekhawat and ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate Pratibha Patil.

Patil launched her countrywide campaign tour from Chennai Sunday.

Sushma Swaraj, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader acting as Shekhawat's spokesperson, said: "We have set up committees in all states consisting of state BJP/NDA presidents, state BJP/NDA legislature party leaders, chief whips and the whips and through them we will interact with the legislators."

Top BJP leaders will also visit various state capitals to mobilise support for Shekhawat, she said.

Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani will go to Madhya Pradesh on July 10, while Swaraj will be in Rajasthan July 4.

On July 7, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad will visit Uttarakhand and former president M. Venkaiah Naidu will be in Karnataka while former central minister Murli Manohar Joshi will go to Lucknow on July 9.

Swaraj said Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee has also committed her party's support for Shekhawat. "She spoke to me personally," said Swaraj.

She also appealed to the "third front" to support Shekhawat. "That is a non-Congress front. They are all for non-Congress politics. If they want to achieve their objective they should support Shekhawat."