After picking Ram Nath Kovind as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) presidential nominee, the party president Amit Shah on Monday took everyone by surprise when he announced the name of the NDA alliance candidate. While the Opposition is yet to name its candidate in the Presidential election 2017, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath appealed all the political parties of the state to rise above politics and support the decision taken by NDA. CM Yogi Adityanath was quoted by PTI as saying, “I appeal to all political parties of UP to support son of UP, Ram Nath Kovind for president, rising above politics.” Meanwhile, Amit Shah said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already spoken to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over this. However, Sonia Gandhi has assured that a decision would be taken after thorough discussions.
The decision to pick the Bihar Governor came out after a nearly two-hour meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board which was held this morning, following which Shah declared the candidate for the post of president from his party. The meeting ended at the party headquarters in Delhi in which most of the BJP bigwigs including PM Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj, Arun itley, Venkaiah Naidu were present.
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Meanwhile, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will convene a meeting of party leaders to decide on supporting the NDA’s choice for President. MP Sanjay Raut was quoted by PTI as saying, “Amit Shah called up Uddhavji after the NDA’s presidential candidate was decided in the BJP’s Parliamentary Board meeting. Shah sought the Sena’s support for Ram Nath Kovind.”
Voting for the presidential election is scheduled on July 17, while the counting will take place on July 20, four days before Pranab Mukherjee’s term ends. Kovind is likely to file his papers on June 23.