India's ruling BJP names Bihar governor as its choice for next president


Congress finds itself in a catch-22 situation: it would be accused of being anti-Dalit if it opposes Kovind while supporting him would effectively mean giving a walkover to BJP. The Samajwadi Party was yet to take final decison since Kovind halis from Kanpur of Uttar Pradesh.

Clarifying that she don't consider Kovind unfit for the post, Mamata added that there are bigger Dalit leaders in the country than him. He hails from a Dalit background. By all means, he is at this moment a very appropriate candidate for BJP to serve multiple goals.

The President is chosen by the elected members of both Houses of Parliament and Assemblies of the States and Union Territories. The office of President is a key post.

Also, that the NDA nominee could dent the Opposition bloc's unity was evident with JD (U) president and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar expressing his "personal happiness" over the NDA nominee, but he didn't commit his party's support to his candidature.

"Congress does not want to comment on NDA's candidate". There will not be much opposition to this selection. An "RSS loyalist", he was appointed the BJP national spokesperson in 2010. A champion of the scheduled caste, scheduled tribe, OBC, minority and women's rights from his student days, Kovind is the present Governor of Bihar. Kovind is also known for his work in the field of education.

Kovind also worked for providing free legal aid to the poor and weaker sections of the society as an advocate. He was also a member of the board of governors of the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.

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The decision, however, was welcomed by some of the political leaders including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao. He said, his party had expected that BJP will discuss main names which the party may announce for the presidential candidate but it did not discuss. Political observers have termed the move as a surprise one.

To ensure agreement over his candidature, Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked on the phone with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and previous prime minister Manmohan Singh to impart BJP's decision to them.

Kovind is probably going to document his papers on June 23, BJP president Amit Shah said following an about two-hour meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board. It seems, they all are voting for NDA's selected candidate.

K R Narayanan was the country's first Dalit president.

Besides, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to several leaders including Naveen Patnaik over this, IANS reported.

Modi and Shah have shrewdly ensured that they cause a strategic split in the opposition camp while getting an ideological fellow traveler into Rashtrapati Bhavan.