Presidential Election 2017: Minutes after the Congress-led Opposition declared that former speaker Meira Kumar would be their Presidential candidate, Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has declared that they will put their weight behind the Opposition’s candidate Kumar. BSP supremo had earlier said that her party will vote for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. Mayawati had said that she will vote for BJP’s candidate if the Opposition does not nominate a Dalit leader. Mayawati on Monday said, ”We cannot have a negative attitude towards a Dalit nominee for the Presidential election. We will support Kovind if the Opposition does not field a Dalit in the race for the top post.”
Senior BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra, who had attended the Opposition meeting today, told newswire service ANI that Mayawati had given her consent to former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar’s candidature for the top post in the country. The Opposition led by the Congress on Thursday declared that the 17 opposition parties have unanimously decided to back former Lok Sabha Speaker and five-time Lok Sabha MP Meira Kumar as their Presidential candidate. The Opposition released the name of its Presidential nominee three days after the BJP President Amit Shah in a press conference said that Ram Nath Kovind will be their nominee.
Reacting to the news about her candidature, Meira Kumar said, “Express gratitude to 17 opposition parties who selected me as Presidential Election candidate. Delighted by opposition’s unity.”
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is a part of the Opposition, has said that he will support BJP’s Presidential nominee. Kovind had stepped down from the post of Bihar Governor on Tuesday.
The Biju Janata Dal, YSRCP, Lok Janshakti Party, Janata Dal (United) and Shiv Sena are supporting the BJP’s candidate Kovind. While Congress and 16 other Opposition parties are putting their weight behind Meira Kumar.