Presidential election 2017: Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda on Sunday extended support to Opposition candidate Meira Kumar in the presidential poll, ANI reported. Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular), which has as many as 40 members in the Legislative Assembly in Karnataka, and 3 Member of Parliament (MPs), will support Kumar when the election take place on July 17. Deve Gowda, a noted figure in Karnataka politics, has served as country’s prime minister in the year 1996-97. Earlier, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, and Rashtriya Janata Dal have already announced their support for Meira Kumar. While extending support to Kumar, BSP supremo Mayawati said she was “more capable and popular” than NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind. “The Opposition’s nominee for President’s post Meira Kumar is more capable and popular than the NDA candidate,” she said moments after the UPA announced Kumar’s candidature. “The BSP will support Meira Kumar in the presidential election,” she said. Earlier, Mayawati had extended support to NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind because of his Dalit background.
“Although Kovind has been associated with the RSS and the BJP from the beginning since he is a Dalit, our party’s stand towards him cannot be negative. It will be positive, provided Opposition parties do not field any Dalit for the post who is more capable and popular than him,” she had told newspersons.
On the other hand, Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party has announced its support to Kovind which it considered a candidate of higher stature. “Her (Meira Kumar) stature is high and has been the speaker, minister and Lok Sabha member. Being the daughter of Babu Jagjivan Ram, the entire country knows her well. The opposition candidate is better than the candidate announced by the government,” party leader Ram Gopal Yadav told ANI.