The Janata Dal (United) has defended party’s decision to support Bharatiya Janata Party’s Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind and lashed out at Congress for accusing the party of destroying Opposition unity with this decision. The term of President Pranab Mukherjee ends on July 24 and the saffron party has nominated former Bihar Governor for the top constitutional post. While the Congress-led Opposition parties brought the name of former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar for the post, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and national president of JD(U) supported Kovind that has been criticized. Reacting to the criticism, JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi said that the party is very upset on the way Congress is behaving and said with this the party’s coalition partner in Bihar is undertaking character assassination of its leader Nitish Kumar, reported The Indian Express. However, Tyagi cleared that the party is in favour of a common Opposition nominee in the Vice President’s election, if it will be decided after discussions with the leaders of all opposition parties including Nitish Kumar.
According to Tyagi, JD(U) has its reasons for supporting the name of Kovind for the Presidential post and it has explained it several times on various occasions. However, the act of senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad in which he has “issued a statement accusing Nitish of political and ideological opportunism” hurt the party most. Speaking to The Indian Express, Tyagi said he was shocked with the statement. He further said the party’s support to Kovind is a one-time and an isolated incident.
WATCH | JDU to support Ram Nath Kovind, NDA’s Presidential candidate
He continued to lash out on Congress saying that the party is not even “legitimate”. The Congress today is not the party that it was in 1952, 1957, 1962 or 1984. Explaining it further, he said that in a meeting of 17 opposition parties organized in April this year, they had all agreed to come up with a non-Congress person. The aim was to choose someone who has a good reputation in civil society. But now it seems that the Congress wanted its own person.