Presidential election 2017: Days after BJP led NDA announced Ram Nath Kovind as its candidate for Presidential election 2017, UPA (Congress with 16 opposition parties) has picked former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar as their candidate. The development comes after BJP succeeded in roping in many parties and states to back NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind. The NDA candidate will file nomination on Friday where at least 20 chief ministers are likely to remain present.
Meanwhile, more support poured in for Ram Nath Kovind after JDU and Shiv Sena decided to back the NDA candidate. The BJP had named Dalit leader and ex-Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as the NDA’s candidate for the post of president. The decision was taken by BJP after a nearly two-hour meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board. The political parties had been informed of the NDA’s choice.
After being named as the NDA candidate, Ram Nath Kovind had resigned from the Bihar Governor post. President Pranab Mukherjee accepted the resignation of Kovind as the Governor of Bihar, a communique issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan said. West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi will discharge the functions of the Governor of Bihar, in addition to his own duties, the communique said. The name of 71-year-old Kovind, a low-profile Dalit leader and a two-term BJP Rajya Sabha member, came as a surprise for many for he is not the kind of politician who hogs limelight.
After his nomination, Kovind came to Delhi to meet PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. PM Modi had said that Ram Nath Kovind will make an exceptional president and continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden and marginalised. The presidential election is scheduled for July 17. Pranab Mukherjee completes his five-year term on July 24.