New Delhi, June 20: Samajwadi Party leader and former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday said that Ram Nath Kovind, who is the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) presidential choice, is a ‘good candidate’. While talking to press, he also said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) can manage to win the Presidential poll even if they are short of 1 percent or 5 percent votes presently, as he believed the party will garner those votes eventually.Also Read - 4 Kids Among 11 Dead After Tractor Overturns in Uttar Pradesh’s Jhansi
The former Uttar Pradesh CM while speaking to ANI about NDA’s presidential candidate Kovind, said, “BJP has given a good candidate. I have very old relations with him.” He also seemed to speculate the fact that it might be very easy for the BJP to win the Presidential poll and install their candidate at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. He also raised doubts about the decision of the Opposition, which is still to either accept Kovind or present their own candidate. Also Read - Lakhimpur Violence: SIT Recreates Crime Scene With Union Minister’s Son Ashish Mishra, 3 Others
Speaking to ANI about the performance of the BJP, Yadav said, “BJP has majority, if 1 percent or 5 percent is required then [the] BJP can manage it. Can’t say what will opposition decide.” This clearly shows that Yadav is sure that the BJP will manage to garner enough support to make sure the NDA candidate wins. It was earlier reported that the BJP had already more than 47 percent of votes to reach the halfway mark. And after that they were lent support by AIADMK and several other parties. Also Read - One Killed, Several Injured as Bus Falls From Flyover in UP's Ghaziabad
On Monday, June 19, the BJP after a meeting of the leadership, declared the name of Ram Nath Kovind, present Governor of Bihar as the NDA candidate for the Presidential election scheduled for July 2017. It was necessitated as the term of President Pranab Mukherjee comes to an end by July’s end. Since early this year, speculations were made as to who could be the choice for the BJP-led NDA’s Presidential candidature. And with the name of Kovind, they did surprise the lot which expected other names which are often in limelight like External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, former speaker Meira Kumar, veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani and even Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat.
As for the Opposition, primarily led by the Congress, in alliance with the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and several parties, they are yet to comment on Kovind’s candidature. Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) termed the nomination of Kovind by the BJP a unilateral decision.
Kovind was a lawyer and is also a member of the RSS. He became the Governor of Bihar and will now represent NDA in the Presidential poll. He is also leader of a Dalit morcha and is reportedly instrumental in bringing the Dalit members under the BJP.
As for Mulayam Singh Yadav, his growing friendship with the BJP, since he was oust by his son Akhilesh Yadav before the Uttar Pradesh elections from the party leadership and subsequent loss in the polls, does seem confusing. His mention of the Opposition, which should technically include his party as well, seems to be another point of confusion, which only ‘Netaji’, as Yadav senior is referred to, can clarify.