BJP names Ram Nath Kovind presidential candidate

Presidential Poll To back NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind or not? Shiv Sena to announce its stand today

Presidential Poll To back NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind or not? Shiv Sena to announce its stand today

While his selection is going to cause huge heart burn among senior members of the BJP such as Murli Manohar Joshi, Ram Naik, L K Advani, it's a logical choice for the Dalit outreach and the mission of unifying "Hindu Samaj".

The main Opposition parties like Congress, Left and Trinamool Congress had hinted that they might opt for a contest.

The BJP's parliamentary board meeting, which was attended by Modi, picked the one-time Supreme Court lawyer after it went through a "long list" of names, Shah said, declining to reveal the other contenders.

Sulking BJP ally Shiv Sena too indicated its unhappiness, saying it was not consulted on the candidate.

Kovind is likely to file his papers on June 23, BJP president Amit Shah said after a almost two-hour meeting of the BJP parliamentary board.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said she is not satisfied with Ram Nath Kovind's political ideology, but can not reject his Dalit background.

On Monday, he said he hoped there won't be opposition to Mr Kovind "because of his background, non-controversial nature, and sound legal and social background".

"I am sure Shri Ram Nath Kovind will make an exceptional President and continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden and marginalised".

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No names were discussed when senior BJP leaders M Venkaiah Naidu and Rajnath Singh met Congress president Sonia Gandhi last week, the Congress leader said.

If the Congress and other opposition parties support BJP's candidate, then there would be no presidential poll; otherwise an election will take place in case they put up a rival candidate.

A sulking Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray disapproved of caste being the basis for Presidency. 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.

The National Democratic Alliance has 48,6 percent of the total votes.

Similarly, another TRS leader Jithender Reddy also backed the NDA's decision and said Kovind is a good choice for the country. BJP even tried to project him as an alternative to Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh. "The post of the President of India is above party politics". He joined the movement of SC/ST employees against the central government over 1997 orders, which adversely affected their interests. He also represented India in United Nations (New York) and addressed the UN General Assembly in October, 2002. The meeting of Opposition parties is likely to be held on 22 June.

BSP chief Mayawati said her party could not be "negative" to a Dalit candidate. She, however, stopped short of supporting him.

Meanwhile, a livid Congress has said the decision was taken without their consensus. "Later, he conveyed his party's support for the presidential candidate to the PM", it said.

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