YSR Congress announces support to NDA's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind

Claudine Rigal
Juin 20, 2017

On Monday, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party proposed Bihar governor and Dalit leader Ram Nath Kovind's name for the post of the President of India. After the Kovind's appointment as the state Governor, JD (U) had accused Prime Minister Modi of playing Dalit card.

BJP chief Amit Shah said the party examined a long list of candidates before zeroing in on Kovind. Apart from Khattar, the state's Agriculture Minister Om Parkash Dhankar also congratulated Kovind, an official release said here. Candidate should be someone who will be beneficial for the country. "A meeting will be held soon to discuss the same", he said.

He was speaking to the media here after congratulating Kovind.

"I had a word with Laluji and Sonia Gandhi and there will be discussion on this".

When the BJP leaders met us, they said that they would inform us about their choice of the presidential candidate before making an announcement.

Kovind before leaving for New Delhi to meet the Prime Minister thanked the people of Bihar for their support.

Jagan Mohan Reddy, its chief, said on Twitter, "I and my party, wholeheartedly support the candidature of Sri Ram Nath Kovind Ji, Dalit leader and a fine Statesman, as Presidential nominee". Prime Minister Narendra Modi even spoke to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over phone today to seek consensus over the candidate.

Kovind will be an exceptional president and continues to be a strong voice for the poor and marginalized, Modi tweeted.

With the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) putting up a Dalit, the opposition United Peoples' Alliance (UPA) led by the Congress party, will be hard put to it to oppose him.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad declined to go into the merits and demerits of Kovind and did not say whether or not the opposition will field a candidate.

Now, arithmetically, the NDA (including the Shiv Sena) is said to have close to 5.37 lakh votes in the Electoral College and does not enjoy a majority in spite of its strength in the Lok Sabha and the recent victory in Uttar Pradesh. While stressing on the importance of waiting for the Opposition meet on 22 June, Jha said it must be highlighted that "in the prevailing situation, we desperately need a person who should protect the values enshrined in the Constitution". "But it is their will, they are free to take a one-sided unilateral decision", Azad added.

After the NDA's Presidential candidate was announced, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is on her way to Hague, responded with a series of reservations. "Somebody of Sushma's (Sushma Swaraj) or Advani's (BJP veteran LK Advani) stature should have been chosen".

He is a former President of the BJP Dalit Morcha (1998-2002) and President of the All-India Koli Samaj.

"Although Kovind has been associated with the RSS and the BJP from the beginning but since he is a Dalit, our party's stand towards him can not be negative".

Mayawati told ANI that it could have been better if BJP would have selected a name from a non-political background.

"If they have declared Kovind's name for getting Dalit votes, then we are not interested". He said the BSP supremo is opposing becasue Kovind is associated with RSS ideology. So somewhere it is a political fight or a contest. "I hope all will agree to the name", he said at a press conference.

Shah said political parties had been informed of the NDA's choice. "Now we will take a call".

The Election Commission of India had started the process of filing the nomination for the fourteenth President of India on June 14.

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