Presidential Election 2017: NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind, who was chosen by BJP for the post of President of India, will file his nomination papers in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. It has learned that occasion will showcase the unity among National Democratic Alliance (NDA) parties as chief ministers of ruling coalition at the Centre will also attend the event, according to PTI report. The presidential polls will witness a Dalit versus Dalit as 17 Opposition parties yesterday had announced that former Lok Sabha Speaker and senior Congress leader Meira Kumar will be their candidate against Kovind.
NDA’s constituents have over 48.6 per cent of votes in the electoral college that will elect the next president. Apart from that, regional parties such as the AIADMK, BJD, TRS and JD(U) have thrown their weight behind Kovind. BJP believed that Kovind would certainly get over 61 per cent of the vote. BJP chief Amit Shah along with the Telangana and Tamil Nadu chief ministers, two leaders from non-NDA parties supporting Kovind, will also be present, according to PTI report.
On the other Opposition led by Congress had manged to field Meira Kumar as candidate after hectic parleys. Notably, SP and BSP went along with the Opposition choice. Only Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) had backed Kovind’s candidature. RJD’s Lalu Prasad has termed Nitish Kumar’s decision a historic blunder and wrong decision. He would meet Bihar Chief Minister on Friday and urge him to review his decision.
The election will be held on July 17 as President Pranab Mukherjee’s term is ending on July 24. The Election Commission of India (ECI) issued the notification in this regard and the process of the nomination will culminate on June 28. If elected, 71-year-old Kovind will be the second Dalit President after K R Narayanan, who was in the Rashtrapati Bhavan in 1997-2002.
Watch this video
Kovind is a low profile Dalit activist who held various organisational positions in the BJP. He was made the Bihar Governor in 2015 after the NDA came to power in May 2014. Political observers felt that it was BJP’s political masterstroke to name the two-term Rajya Sabha member as NDA nominee.