Gopalkrishna Gandhi meets Naveen ahead of Prez polls

Bhubaneswar: Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi today met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the BJD President`s residence here, fueling speculation that the visit was linked to Presidential polls. However, the Chief Minister`s Office described the 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. The ruling BJD headed by Patnaik has 30,215 votes in the electoral college with 104 MLAs and 20 MPs.

The regional parties like the BJD would play a vital role in the election of the successor of the present incumbent Pratibha Patil as both the UPA and the NDA do not have the requisite numbers to elect their own candidate. However, the BJD was yet to make its stand known about the candidate the party would support for the post of the President.