emfizz.com June 26, 2017

Will seek support of all major political parties: Ram Nath Kovind

20 June 2017, 09:52 | Bernard Bryant

Bihar Governor and BJP’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind with President Pranab Mukherjee whose term ends

Ram Nath Kovind

Soon after his name was proposed for the new president Ram Nath Kovind, a long-time BJP worker, rushed to New Delhi and drove to Prime Minister's residence to meet Narendra Modi.

"Since Mayawati has to take care of her Dalit vote bank, she can not openly oppose a Dalit candidate".

Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu pointed out that the choice of Governor Kovind should meet all the expectations of the opposition.

The surprise decision stunned the opposition which accused the ruling party of unilateralism. "The final call will be taken in a meeting of all opposition parties on June 22", he said.

The BJP's sweep of districts with a good chunk of non-Jatav votes suggested that it had managed to pull in votes from the Dalit tent. "I don't want to comment on the merits and demerits of the candidate".

Kovind, 72, who emerged as the dark horse, is likely to file the nomination on June 23, he said. However, there were no discussions on the name of the presidential candidate yet.

"In the end, we finalised the name of Ram Nath Kovind", said BJP President Amit Shah.

Mr. Kovind would also be the joint candidate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), headed by the BJP. "This is not a very mature decision", she said.

The BJP on Monday announced Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit, as the NDA nominee for the Presidential post.

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He is a lawyer by profession, a Dalit leader by caste, a Hindutva ideologue by thinking and a dedicated BJP worker by political affiliation. Insiders said, the BJP leaders were wary of an Opposition mahagatbandhan - comprising Mayawati, Akhilesh and the Congress - happening in UP in 2019.

He said it was the NDA's proposal that it would get back to the opposition after zeroing on a candidate.

"We hope to have a political consensus", Shah said.

BSP: Mayawati said her party can not take a negative stand against a Dalit.

Mr. Kovind, 71, has been associated with the RSS and causes related to Dalits. Neighbours of his Kanpur home remember Kovind as a simple, soft spoken person who has maintained relations with those who have been with him.

The selection of Kovind proves that Modi and Shah do not take a moment off from 24/7 politics.

A former president of the BJP Dalit Morcha (1998-2002), Kovind has also served as a national spokesperson of the party.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, another key component of the opposition, said the Governor's credentials are also impressive. These orders were later declared null and void after the passage of three amendments in the Constitution during the rule of the first NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "So, she is opposing because this candidate happens to be a RSS man", he told news agency ANI. It has also garnered support from parties like the YSR Congress, which has almost 2 per cent, and the TRS, which has 1.6 per cent.

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