"For the first time, UP has got a chance to give a president. People of state are feeling proud after his candidature was declared. The SP and the BSP should shed narrow politics and support Kovind," he told reporters in Ballia.
The 71-year-old Ram Nath Kovind was born in Kanpur (rural) in the state. A lawyer-turned-politician, he has also served as the governor of Bihar.
On the Ram temple issue, Mr Sharma said construction of the temple through consensus was in everyone's interest and "our government will take an initiative for this".
"We are probing such cases and strict action will be taken against the contractors and officials involved," he added.
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