Presidential Election 2017: Finally the names of both the candidates who could be the next President of India are out in the open. Meira Kumar is the UPA led opposition choice in the race to Raisina – this was revealed today. If selected, she will be the one to replace Pranab Mukherjee, whose term is set to end on July 25, 2017. Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav while talking to the media on Bihar CM Nitish Kumar backing NDA’s Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind said, “Nitishji called me, said that it is his personal decision. I would appeal to him to rethink. Won’t break the alliance.” He further said that Nitish was making a historical mistake. He said, “Will meet him (Nitish Kumar) tomorrow. Ask him to think, should not do a historical mistake, your decision is wrong.” Lalu Prasad Yadav has asked the Bihar CM to “back Meira Kumar,” as per TV reports.
Earlier in the week, NDA announced its candidate and JDU extended its support to on June 21. 17 opposition parties headed by Congress met on June 22 in New Delhi to finalise the candidature of the opposition against Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA choice Ram Nath Kovind. The name of the former Lok Sabha Speaker was announced by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in the meeting. The race to Raisina is now between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Ram Nath Kovind and Indian National Congress’s Meira Kumar. Ghulam Nabi Azad who attended the opposition’s meeting today in his statement said, “All 17 political parties have unanimously proposed the name of Meira Kumar ji for forthcoming Presidential Election.”
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Daughter of Deputy Prime Minister of India and Dalit leader Jagjivan Ram, Kumar entered politics in the year 1985 prior to which she had joined the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in 1970. Meira Kumar completed her Master of Arts and LLB programme from Delhi University and she received an honorary doctorate from Banasthali Vidyapith in 2010. She has been a Member of Parliament for five times in the 8th, 11th, 12th, 14th and 15th Lok Sabha. She served as the first woman speaker of the Lok Sabha from 2009 to 2014 and was elected unopposed.