A weekly column on the sessions of parliament.
While he is the 15th vice president, he is the 13th person to hold the constitutional post. His predecessor Hamid Ansari and the first vice president S. Radhakrishnan had held the post for two consecutive terms.
Modi asked all MPs to hold events similar to last year’s ‘Tiranga Yatra’ to celebrate Independence Day and the anniversary of the Quit India movement.
Kovind is India’s second Dalit president, after K.R. Narayanan.
His election is a key element of the party’s strategy for the 2019 election, and its aftermath.
Ram Nath Kovind’s presence in Rashtrapati Bhavan will not make any difference to the ongoing atrocities against the Dalits. What can Mayawati do to keep the struggle going?
The RSS leader said it does not support any kind of violence linked to cow protection and demanded action against those found guilty.
Kovind polled a total of 2,930 votes with the value of 7,02,044 (a total of 65.65% votes) while Kumar got 1,844 votes with a value of 3,67,314.
Members of parliament and legislators in 31 states today turned out in large numbers to vote for the next president of India.
The Election Commission introduced special pens, posters for the presidential polls. Counting is to take place on July 20.
Who will be India’s next president, Ram Nath Kovind or Meira Kumar?
As democratic institutions – cabinet, bureaucracy, media, presidency and judiciary – weaken, the Modi establishment is riding high on overconfidence. This is bad news for the Indian polity.
“I am happy because it has exposed the real face of the society, that such a thinking is still prevalent…But I am pained because such issues are still being discussed.”
Seemingly moving past the unpleasantness after backing NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, the JD(U) attended today’s meeting of the non-NDA parties to pick a vice president contender.
He doesn’t chant Modi’s name and there is nobody chanting his name. Why doesn’t he chant Modi’s name if that can help him remain relevant? If his silence signals a personal protest, then why doesn’t he place it on record?
The Supreme Court had in 2002 made the filing of affidavits declaring assets and criminal records mandatory in Lok Sabha and assembly polls, but the Election Commission had rejected a similar demand for affidavits in the 2012 elections.
The Congress has repeatedly been an obstacle to opposition unity, and it is time it comes to terms with the fact that it is no longer a national party, and thus no longer has the right to demand a pre-eminent position in a coalition of parties.
At a time when political actors are seeking to replace Ambedkarite ethics with the Hindutva doctrine, it is pertinent that Dalits make an ethical choice between Hindutva and Ambedkarite politics.
Despite his background, Kovind never raised any questions directly about atrocities against Dalits.
Kovind also said that he had ceased to belong to any political party after he became governor of Bihar in 2015.
Ambedkar had argued that Dalits did not wish to be represented by others, much less nominated by them, and vehemently favoured separate electorates since it brought to the forefront of democratic practice the most oppressed.
The decision to support the former Lok Sabha Speaker was taken in a meeting of 17 opposition parties at the Parliament Library today.
Will Kovind as president be a champion for Dalit justice? Will he uphold the values of the constitution?
The opposition missed out on a big opportunity to show its solidarity with Dalit movements across the country by not nominating a Dalit candidate of its choice before the Modi government did.
Unwilling to support a candidate with an RSS background, the Left parties have shared their own list of candidates with the Congress, and the final decision will be taken at an opposition meet on June 22.
Like Jeremy Corbyn, the party and its leader must stick by their principles no matter what the situation, only then will it eventually pay off.
Ambedkar says the opposition parties can still make a real contest out of the presidential elections if they put forward the right candidate.
Given Kovind’s views on social justice and empowerment, choosing a leader like him as the presidential candidate was a more natural choice for the Sangh parivar than any radical shift in its traditional position on the caste system.
Yechury said that the non-NDA parties will take the decision “keeping in mind the country’s history that the ruling and opposition parties contested the polls on all occasion except once”.
In 2012, the BJP’s presidential nominee testified in support of former BJP president Bangaru Laxman, who was eventually convicted of corruption.
Opposition parties will meet to take a final decision on their strategy on June 22.
The opposition will need to think harder, beyond the usual idea of fielding a “secular” candidate, to defeat the BJP’s messaging if it decides to contest.
The Congress has spurned the BJP’s appeal for consensus on its choice for president and said the opposition will take a call on contesting the poll after a meeting on June 22.
Dalit leader Kovind is a two-time Rajya Sabha member, former BJP national spokesperson and headed the party’s Scheduled Caste Morcha between 1999 and 2002.
Bihar’s new prohibition law could land liquor sellers and consumers in jail for up to seven years and make them poorer by Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.