Presidential election: Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind is NDA candidate

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 19, 2017 2:16 pm

Ram Nath Kovind is the Bihar Governor. He is a 71-year-old Dalit leader.

In a surprise turn of events, the Bharatiya Janata Party proposed the name of Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as their candidate for the upcoming Presidential election. Seventy-one-year-old Kovind is a Dalit leader from Kanpur. He was previously elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh. Kovind used to practice as a Supreme Court lawyer.

The party’s parliamentary board met on Monday to discuss the names for the election. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the meeting, and BJP national president Amit Shah and Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj Nitin Gadkari were among those in attendance.

Earlier, the party constituted a three-member team to pick a candidate for the election. Venkaiah Naidu and Rajnath Singh, who are part of the team, met Opposition leaders to discuss the issue. The BJP has also reached out to their ally at the Centre, Shiv Sena. Opposition parties were, however, noncommittal on the issue as the BJP team did not discuss any names with them. Ruling out support for a candidate with a Hindutva background, the broad consensus among the Opposition is that the candidate must have strong liberal and secular credentials.

Meanwhile, several BJP lawmakers were called to the national capital to act as signatories for the nomination papers. A total of 50 nominators and 50 seconders are required to back a candidate eligible to stand in the election. The election hinges on the Opposition’s decision to field their own candidate, if they fail to arrive at a consensus with the ruling BJP. However, the BJP has the numbers to see its candidate through the election.

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  1. M
    Madhukar Nikam
    Jun 19, 2017 at 2:20 pm
    Excellent move…NDA has taken away the winds out of opposition sail………………good choice!
    Reply
    1. H
      hbn
      Jun 19, 2017 at 2:16 pm
      all secular parties should oppose this candidate because he has ‘Ram’ in his name…
      Reply
      1. S
        SRT
        Jun 19, 2017 at 2:15 pm
        Seems like BJPs Pratibha Patil
        Reply
        1. V
          victim
          Jun 19, 2017 at 2:15 pm
          What a shame, BJP will make entire nation think Ram Nath’s qualification is being Dalit!When wii these political parties stop playing this dirty cast games? Nation would have been far happier had it been some really really great person like Metro Man E Sridharan!
          Reply
          1. P
            Parth Garg
            Jun 19, 2017 at 2:15 pm
            The retirement policy adopted for Advani Joshi et al seems to be not applicable to Kovind. Double standards of BJP waxes eloquent.
            Reply
            1. S
              Sriram Kalpathi
              Jun 19, 2017 at 2:14 pm
              Rubber Stamp!!!
              Reply
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