Kovind will make an 'exceptional President': Modi

20 Juin, 2017, 16:43 | Author: Claudine Rigal
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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed happiness over the state governor's candidature for the president's post, but stopped short of committing support to the NDA nominee. He is likely to file his nomination on June 23. Modi said with an illustrious background in the legal arena, Kovind's knowledge and understanding of the Constitution will benefit the nation.

Like the first Dalit president K R Narayanan, NDA's presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind has risen from a modest background but the two dalit leaders took different paths to reach the zenith of their public life.

Modi said Kovind would make an "exceptional" President and called him a strong voice for the poor and the marginalised communities.

The opposition parties had formed a sub-committee to select a candidate but decided not to come up with a name till there was clarity about the choice of the ruling alliance. On Saturday, Swaraj had dismissed reports that she was a contender in the presidential poll as "rumours".

West Bengal Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi on Tuesday got additional charge of Bihar after Ram Nath Kovind, BJP's pick for President, resigned from his post. Apart from Khattar, the state's Agriculture Minister Om Parkash Dhankar also congratulated Kovind, an official release said here.

While PTI quoted NDA-ally Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray as saying fielding a Dalit was "mere vote bank politics" and that his party would take a final decision on Tuesday, Odisha Chief Minister and BJD leader Naveen Patnaik announced his support for Mr. Kovind.

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Congress officials also confirmed that Kumar appeared anxious not to be seen contesting against a "Mahadalit candidate" in his telephone conversations with party president Sonia Gandhi as well as some other senior leaders. "Just because he was the leader of Dalit Morcha of BJP they have made him the candidate", Mamata said.

"As he is a Dalit we are positive on his name, but only if the opposition doesn't announce a popular Dalit name", she said. "But it is their will, they are free to take a one-sided unilateral decision", Azad added.

President Pranab Mukherjee has accepted the resignation of Kovind as the Governor of Bihar, a communique issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan said.

The election will be held on July 17. "Uddhavji told him that he will convene a meeting of the party leaders to arrive on a decision and convey our answer to him in one/two days", said Sena leader Sanjay Raut in Mumbai pointing out that his party had suggested RSS chief's name and later Swaminathan's candidature for the post.

CPI (M) also spoke on the same lines, with party general secretary Sitaram Yechury reiterating the fact that the Opposition didn't keep its word. "If he wants to say anything on the matter of inefficiency or corruption, he is most welcome", he said.

Furthermore, Mayawati of the BSP extended support to Ram Nath Kovind, saying her party can not in principle oppose a candidate who hails from a Dalit community.

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