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Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind Is NDA Candidate for President

Ram Nath Kovind with Pranab Mukherjee. Credit: Bihar governor’s office website

New Delhi: The BJP today named Dalit leader and Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind as the NDA’s candidate for the post of president.

Kovind is likely to file his papers on June 23, BJP president Amit Shah said after a nearly two-hour meeting of the BJP parliamentary board. He said political parties had been informed of the NDA’s choice.

“I hope all will agree to the name,” he said at a press conference.

Shah added that no decision has been taken yet on the vice presidential candidate.

Kovind is a two-time Rajya Sabha member (1994-2000 and 2000-2006), former BJP national spokesperson and headed the party’s Scheduled Caste Morcha between 1999 and 2002.

Voting for the presidential election will take place on July 17 and counting on July 20, four days before President Pranab Mukherjee’s term comes to an end.

The BJP had last week met with opposition leaders including Sonia Gandhi and Sitaram Yechury, apparently to try and find a consensus candidate. However, no candidates’ names were proposed at these meetings.

(With PTI inputs)

  • ashok759

    A mahagatbandhan of the SP and the BSP – with the Congress tagging along – in UP in 2019 is now certain. So it makes electoral sense to elevate a Dalit from UP to the presidency. However, what remains to be seen is how much traction this will generate on the ground. Making a special effort to see that Dalits are secure, treated well would be equally fruitful.