Dalit leader Ram Nath Kovind's run from court to Raisina Hills

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The BJP today announced that it has chosen Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as its candidate for President of India. The meeting was held at the party headquarters in New Delhi, and chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Shri Ram Nath Kovind is married to Smt.

Kovind was born on October 1, 1945 at Kanpur Dehat, Uttar Pradesh. Modi's BJP has traditionally been viewed as a party of so-called upper caste Hindus.

By fielding Kovind as their presidential nominee, the BJP has also sought to assuage the hurt Dalit feelings, especially in Uttar Pradesh.

He was an advocate for the Centre at the Supreme Court between 1980 and 1993. He became advocate-on-record of the Supreme Court of India in 1978. He was enrolled as an Advocate in 1971 with the Bar Council of Delhi.

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A dalit leader, 71-year-old Kovind was chief of the BJP SC and ST wing earlier.

Kovind has also served as a member on the Board of Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.

Two years ago, when he picked Kovind as Bihar governor, Modi had then tweeted that "he has spent his entire life working for the Dalits, the marginalised communities".

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. Amit Shah met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday to discuss the issue, but reports suggested that the talks were unsuccessful. In an effort to build an unopposed consensus for the upcoming presidential polls, Shah paid a "courtesy" visit to Thackeray on Sunday. The meeting is said to have lasted for nearly an hour. Read Also: Is BJP trying to bell the tiger? Moreover, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to leave for the USA on June 26 followed by Netherlands on June 27, BJP wants to have a name well in advance to try to bring the opposition on board. State BJP president Raosaheb Danve too was kept out. There is no decision taken on the vice-president yet, said Shah. Other Opposition parties have maintained a caution and have even suggested that they might float a separate candidate the next day if they don't like who BJP nominates. Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao, Tamil Nadu CM E Palaniswamy have already given their support to Kovind for his candidature. The YSR Congress released pictures of its MP (Rajya Sabha) Vijaya Sai Reddy meeting Ram Nath Kovinda in Patna last month. A total of 50 nominators and 50 seconder's are required to back a candidate eligible to stand in the election.

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