Chennai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought the support of Tamil Nadu chief minister E Palaniswami for the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) vice-presidential candidate M Venkaiah Naidu.
The prime minister spoke to E 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 in Chennai late on Monday said.
“Palaniswami extended his greetings to Naidu,” it stated.
The 68-year-old Naidu was chosen on Monday as the NDA’s vice presidential candidate at a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (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.