Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

BSP chief Mayawati's opposition is due to Kovind's affiliation to RSS: NCP

BSP chief Mayawati's opposition is due to Kovind's affiliation to RSS: NCP

State BJP President Tapir Gao has also welcomed the decision that Bihar Governor and senior BJP leader Ram Nath Kovind would be the Presidential candidate of the BJP-led ruling NDA at the Centre.

Kovind is probably going to document his papers on June 23, BJP president Amit Shah said following an about two-hour meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board.

Modi also said that Kovind's knowledge and understanding of the Constitution would benefit the nation. I could recognise him only after he was mentioned as the Bihar Governor.

However, he said a final decision on the BJP candidate would be taken at a meeting of party leaders here scheduled for Tuesday. "I hope that every citizen will support me", he said. PM Modi, who called Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao on phone, told him "as per your (the chief minister's) suggestion, we have decided upon a Dalit candidate for the presidential post". The Congress party declined to remark on the declaration however communicated disappointment over NDA's assignment of the Presidential applicant without talking about with restriction parties. However, she stopped short of expressing support for Kovind and said her party would be "positive" provided the opposition did not field any Dalit.

If elected, he would be the second president of that community after K.R. Narayanan.

71-year-old Kovind is a Dalit leader from Kanpur.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that Kovind would "make an exceptional president" and "continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden and marginalised".

With both the names suggested by it - RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and noted agriculturist M S Swaminathan - rejected, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said the Dalit candidate was chosen merely for vote-bank politics. "They did not come back to the opposition and announced the candidate", Yechury told reporters here.

Notably, BJP National President today announced Bihar Governor Ramnath Kovind as its candidate for next President of India. However, early statements coming from Opposition parties indicate that they are in no mood to relinquish their prerogative of putting up a fight.

Sources say that being Dalit, Kovind is unlikely to face opposition from other parties.

NCP leader Majeed Memon said that Mayawati can not openly oppose Kovind as she has to take care of vote bank. "The opposition will meet on June 22 - only then we can announce our decision", she said. "A meeting will be held soon to discuss the same", he said.

Mamata Banerjee and Congress President Sonia Gandhi will be left red faced now as BJP has already got the required mandate and Ram Nath Kovind may have an easy access to the President House. "We will discuss later and decide".

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