The Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party on Friday announced that it will support the National Democratic Alliance’s candidate Droupadi Murmu in the presidential election, PTI reported.

Party chief Om Prakash Rajbhar said that the decision was taken after discussions with leaders and office bearers of the outfit.

The election for the president’s post will be held on July 18. While Murmu is the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA’s pick, the Opposition has nominated former Union minister Yashwant Sinha.

Rajbhar said that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath and Union Home Minister Amit Shah had requested him to support Murmu, ANI reported.

“[Adityanath] had invited us for dinner to discuss extending support to Murmu,” he told reporters. “He said that since I was vocal on matters related to the backward classes, Dalits and minorities, I should support Murmu’s candidature. Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the same things.”

Rajbhar, however, said that there was no rift between his party and ally, the Samajwadi Party. The Akhilesh Yadav-led party has said that it will support Sinha for the president’s post.

The Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party had allied with the BJP in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, but broke away in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The party allied with the Samajwadi Party ahead in the 2022 Uttar Pradesh elections.

The Rajbhar-led outfit has six MLAs in the Legislative Assembly.

On Thursday, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, another Opposition party and an ally of the Congress, said that it would support Murmu as it was the first time that an Adivasi woman has got the opportunity to become the president of India.

On Tuesday, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray also said his party will extend support to Murmu. The announcement came after 16 Shiv Sena MPs urged the former Maharashtra chief minister to support the NDA candidate.