Nitish goes on a break as Meira Kumar lands in Patna

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Meira Kumar
Meira Kumar lands in Patna: Opposition candidate says she will seek votes of all parties. The Congress-led Opposition’s presidential candidate, Meira Kumar, who arrived in Patna on Thursday on a three-day visit to Bihar, said the election was a battle of “ideologies” and she would appeal to all political parties for their support.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose support for NDA’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind, former Bihar Governor, had created ripples among the Opposition camp, left for Rajgir in Nalanda earlier in the day. Mr. Kumar has not been well for some time.

Party sources said he had gone to the Rajgir hills to rest. However, his critics told The Hindu that he left abruptly to avoid meeting Ms. Kumar.

Hundreds of Congress leaders and party workers had assembled at the Patna airport on Thursday evening to welcome Ms. Kumar. She will meet RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, who has described her as Bihar ki beti (daughter of Bihar). She will visit her village of Chandwa in Bhojpur district on Friday.

Battle of ideologies

“Seventeen parties led by Madam Sonia Gandhi have made me the Opposition’s Presidential candidate and I’m happy to be in the race to serve the cause of the poor, the Dalits and generally people of all religions … The Presidential election is essentially a battle of ideology and I’m sure I’ll get a huge support,” she told presspersons at the airport.

State BJP leader Vinod Narayan Jha said many of the Congress and RJD leaders, impressed by Mr. Kovind’s tenure as Governor, could cross-vote. State Congress chief Ashok Choudhary said who would vote for whom would be known on the day of election.

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