The two main political parties in Andhra Pradesh, the TDP and the YSRCP, were involved in a tug of war on Tuesday, as NDA's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind campaigned in the two Telugu states.
Speaking both in Hyderabad and Vijayawada, Kovind said the office of the President should be kept above party politics and assured the parties supporting him that he will uphold the highest esteem of the prestigious office.
Kovind addressed meetings of ruling parties in both the Telugu states, besides meeting MPs and MLAs of Andhra Pradesh's main opposition party YSR Congress and leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), an opposition party in Telangana.
The YSRCP seized the first opportunity, welcoming Kovind in Hyderabad itself, even though he was scheduled to travel to Vijayawada later in the day.
Surprisingly, the party's chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy, even touched Kovind's feet.
â€œWe believe that the election to the highest posts of President and Speaker should be unanimous and that we extended our support to the NDA even before its candidate was finalized,â€œ Jagan was quoted as saying.
Jagan also personally introduced his party leaders to the NDA nominee.
Following this, Kovind traveled to Vijayawada where he met Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu.
In Vijayawada, Kovind along with Venkaiah Naidu and Chandrababu Naidu attended 'Sri Venkateshwara vaibhotsavam' and performed 'puja' at the model TTD temple.
He also paid tributes to TDP founder, the late N.T. Rama Rao and recalled his contributions to both the cinema and politics.
Kovind said that for President, the Constitution is the "Geeta", "Quran", "Ramayana" and the "Bible". "It is the only guide book by which the President is supposed to work," he said.
He said for President the well being of every citizen of the country, irrespective of caste, region, religion and geographic location was important.
TDP president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, in his speech, said that he feels that it is a good fortune to vote for Kovind. Stating that Kovind joined BJP 26 years ago, he said he was never involved in any controversy.
Naidu also told Kovind the problems that Andhra was facing after bifurcation, and asked for his help, if he was elected President.
Addressing the meetings in both the states, Venkaiah Naidu said the presidential election was not an ideological fight as some opposition parties were trying to project it.