NDA nominee Ram Nath meets UP MPs for support

Tuesday, 27 Jun, 2017

A low profile Dalit activist who held various organizational positions in the BJP, Kovind, 71, was made the Bihar governor in 2015 after the NDA came to power in May 2014.

While filing his nomination papers, Kovind was accompanied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bhartiya Janata Party's President Amit Shah and other veteran politicians.

Though his meeting will be with the supporting MPs and MLAs, Kovind will make an appeal to all the members of the electoral college in every state to support him.

Describing Kovind as a "diamond", Union minister Anupriya Patel of the Apna Dal (S) said, "I was very happy the moment the name of Ram Nath Kovind was announced as he hails from Kanpur, which is also my birth place". "I feel honoured for being nominated as the candidate for the office of president and I thank you all", said Ramnath Kovind.

And, that's where the election of the President of India has taken a turn that could well have been avoided - the caste equation playing a major role in the choice of candidates. However, Saha said that he or his party wouldn't support anyone who had got a history of divisive politics to their credit.

BJP already has about 48% of the required votes through the NDA, with the support of both factions of the AIADMK, the YSR Congress and a host of other smaller parties.

Daughter of late Indian Deputy Prime Minister Jagjivan Ram, Meira Kumar has served in the diplomatic service of the country as an Indian Foreign Service officer before becoming Lok Sabha Speaker during the UPA rule.

NDA's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind Friday filed his nomination papers, surrounded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 15 chief ministers and many union ministers, as the BJP put up a formidable show of strength to mark the occasion.

With the backing of parties outside the alliance like TRS (2 per cent), AIADMK (5.39 per cent), YSR Congress (1.53 per cent) and BJD (2.99 per cent), the NDA's support will cross the half-way-mark to reach almost 63 per cent.

Aware of its chances in the July 17 presidential election, the Opposition now views it as an ideological battle.

When Kovind's candidature was announced by the BJP, Thackeray had initially said his party was against backing him if his nomination was aimed at garnering Dalit votes.