Amaravati: The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Monday decided to back NDA’s Presidential candidate Darupadi Murmu.
TDP national president and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu announced the decision to back Darupadi Murmu, who has been fielded by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance as its candidates for the July 18 election for the top post.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the party’s strategy committee on Monday. The TDP chief said that since Darupadi Murmu is the first tribal woman to be fielded for the highest office, the party decided to support her.
Naidu said the TDP had always been in the forefront for social justice. He recalled that in the past TDP supported K.R. Narayanan and A.P J. Abdul Kalam for the post of the President. Similarly, the party nominated G.M.C. Balayogi as Lok Sabha Speaker and Pratibha Bharati as Assembly Speaker. He recalled that TDP also rose above political lines to back P.V. Narasimha Rao in the Nandyal by-election after he became the Prime Minister.
The decision by the TDP to support Murmu is significant as the party had snapped ties with the BJP before the 2019 elections.
TDP has four MPs (three in Lok Sabha and one in Rajya Sabha) and 19 MLAs. The party had won 23 seats in the 175-member Andhra Assembly in 2019 elections but four of the MLAs later switched loyalties to ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP).
Darupadi Murmu is pitted against the joint candidate of opposition parties, Yashwant Sinha, a former union minister.
With this both the ruling party and principal opposition party in Andhra Pradesh have declared support to the NDA candidate.
The YSR Congress Party has already announced its support to Draupadi Murmu. The party hailed the nomination of the first tribal and also a woman for the post of the President of India.
YSRCP parliamentary party leader V. Vijayasai Reddy and its floor leader in the Lok Sabha P.V. Midhun Reddy were also present during the filing of nomination by Murmu on June 24.
The elections for the President of India will take place on July 18 and the results will be declared on July 21.