Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will host dinner in honor of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lucknow on Tuesday evening. PM is in Lucknow to take part in the International Yoga Day 2017 celebrations on June 21. All former UP chief ministers including Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, BSP chief Mayawati, SP leader Akhilesh Yadav have been invited. According to a report by ANI, former UP CM Mulayam Singh Yadav has confirmed that he will attend today’s event. The leader of Opposition in Uttar Pradesh Assembly Ram Govind Chaudhary will also be present on the occasion, as reported by Times of India.
PM Modi will be meeting many other leaders over dinner tonight. The acceptance of the dinner invitation is being taken as an indication that both the Opposition parties, SP and BSP, are ready to back National Democratic Alliance’s nominee Ram Nath Kovind for the country’s highest constitutional post. While for now, the main Opposition parties like Congress, Left and Trinamool Congress had hinted that they might opt for a contest. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had yesterday said that BJP nominated Kovind because he was a leader of the party’s Dalit Morcha.
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PM Modi during his first address to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2014 proposed the idea of International Yoga Day. Now, India and the world are gearing up for the third edition of International Yoga Day, which is held on June 21, the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere. This year PM will observe the event in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh with nearly 55,000 people are expected to attend the event in the Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan. UP CM Yogi Adityanath will lead a rehearsal of the main event and will monitor arrangements for the main event, according to the Indian Express.
Kovind, who belongs to the Dalit community, hails from Kanpur Dehat district in Uttar Pradesh. He has been a Rajya Sabha MP for two terms — 1994-2000 and 2000-2006. A lawyer by profession, Kovind was appointed the Governor of Bihar on August 8, 2015. The 71-year-old former lawyer is likely to file his nomination on June 23 and if elected, he will be the second Dalit President after K R Narayanan. The election will be held on July 17 as President Pranab Mukherjee’s term is ending on July 24. The Election Commission of India (ECI) issued the notification in this regard and the process of the nomination will culminate on June 28.