New Delhi, June 19: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has finally declared Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit’s name for the Presidential candidate. The announcement was made on Monday morning after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met BJP President Amit Shah and other top leaders of his party. PM Narendra Modi on Twitter said “Ram Nath Kovind would make an exceptional President” and claimed that he has also spoken to Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to seek their support for BJP’s candidate. The leaders of Opposition including Mamata Banerjee said that they will take a final call to back the BJP nominee once they meet on Thursday. On Monday night Ram Nath Kovind went to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also met BJP chief, Amit Shah.

On Monday evening Ram Nath Kovind, expressed the hope that all political parties will back his nomination in the July 17 election. Ram Nath Kovind while interacting with media said, “I appeal to all members of Lok Sabha and Legislative Assembly from all political parties. I will appeal to them, I will meet them and take their blessings”. Also Read – Ram Nath Kovind is NDA’s Presidential nominee, all you need to know about him

Here are some latest updates on this story:

  • Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, is a 71-year-old Dalit leader who is associated with the BJP since long-time. As a trained lawyer and a specialist in the constitution, Kovind has served twice as a Rajya Sabha member.
  • Ram Nath Kovind, while interacting with media said that PM Modi called him on Monday morning to inform him that his name has been finalised for BJP’s presidential candidate. After which the Bihar governor landed in Delhi where he met with PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.
  • Since long, the BJP has been losing support among Dalit community and by selection of a Dalit leader for President’s post is a smart move by BJP to consolidate its vote among backwards.
  • If Governor Kovind is selected for the top most post, he will be India’s second Dalit president after KR Narayanan, who served from 1997 to 2002.
  • The leaders of opposition will meet on Thursday where they will decide to field their own candidate. Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee today said that she will decide only after she meets leaders of opposition on Thursday.
  • On the other side, Shiv Sena complained that they were not consulted and said that they learnt through the media of the nomination for President.
  • Given his caste, several leaders of opposition had indicated that they will find it tough to oppose Ram Nath Kovind. “As he is a Dalit, we are positive on Mr Kovind, but only if the opposition doesn’t announce a popular Dalit name (too),” Mayawati was quoted by news agency ANI.
  • Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who is already impressed with Governor Ram Nath Kovind said, “As a Bihar Governor, Kovind has discharged his duties in an unbiased manner. He has worked as per the Constitution and upheld the dignity of the top post”.
  • Nitish Kumar also said that his party will decide on whether to back the Governor’s promotion only after consulting with others.
  • If a Presidential election is held, the BJP and its allies are in a position to make their candidate win, as regional parties across India and some from the south, have committed their support to the ruling alliance.