Gandhi meets Naveen ahead of Presidential polls

: Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi on Tuesday met chief minister Naveen Patnaik at his residence at Naveen Nivas here, fueling speculation that the visit was linked to Presidential polls.

The Chief Minister’s Office here described the three-hour, one-to-one luncheon meeting as a courtesy visit.

There was speculation in political circles that Gopalkrishna, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, wanted Patnaik’s support for the July presidential elections.

Gandhi’s visit was significant as it came a day after media reports on certain non-UPA and non-NDA parties planning to support A P J Abdul Kalam for the Presidential polls.

The ruling BJD headed by Patnaik has 30,215 votes in the electoral college with 104 MLAs and 20 MPs.

Vice-President Hamid Ansari, who could also contest the presidential polls, had also met the chief minister here recently.

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