Ram Nath Kovind Presidential election 2017: Soon after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah announced the name of Ram Nath Kovind as NDA’s presidential pick for the upcoming polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and former PM Manmohan Singh to seek their support for Kovind, who is the current Bihar governor. After a 30 minutes long Parliamentary Committee Meeting chaired by PM Modi, Shah attended a press meet and made the announcement earlier today. BJP’s presidential candidate announcement took everyone by surprise after names of various cabinet leaders did the rounds in the media and virtually no one had put Kovind’s name up for consideration as a possible candidate.
Hours later, PM Modi took to Twitter and hailed Kovind’s nomination. He wrote: “Shri Ram Nath Kovind, a farmer’s son, comes from a humble background. He devoted his life to public service & worked for poor & marginalised.”
“With his illustrious background in the legal arena, Shri Kovind’s knowledge and understanding of the Constitution will benefit the nation,” PM Modi added. “I am sure Shri Ram Nath Kovind will make an exceptional President & continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden & marginalised,” he tweeted.
PM Modi also spoke to chief minister of various states including Nitish Kumar (Bihar), Chandrababu Naidu (Andhra Pradesh) and E Palaniswamy (Tamil Nadu) in order to seek their support over the same. PM Modi is likely to meet Kovind tomorrow.
Nitish Kumar is also set to meet Kovind to discuss the latest announcement, reported India Today. The BJP, however, has still not taken a final call on the candidate’s name for the vice-president post. Kovind is a well known Dalit leader who hails from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He was a legal practitioner in Supreme Court along with being a RSS leader.
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Even the Janata Dal United (JDU) leader Sharad Pawar told ANI, “opposition ki baithak hogi,usme naam pe vichaar karenge,NDA ne naam announce kiya hai uspe bhi baat karenge (We would discuss about candidate’s name during the opposition meeting and will also discusss about NDA’s nomination).
Shah while addressing the media earlier today said, “Ram Nath comes from a Dalit family and has struggled a lot. We hope he will be the unanimous candidate for the election.” Kovind has also once headed BJP’s Dalit Wing and is currently serving as the Governor of India from past two years.
If elected, Kovind would be the second Dalit Indian President after KR Narayanan. The earlier names which were doing the rounds for Presidency in BJP’s faction included former Deputy PM LK Advani, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.