Next President : Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind is NDA Candidate, Opposition to Meet on June 22

“Bihar Governor  Ram Nath Kovind  being an experienced lawyer,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted “his knowledge and understanding of the Constitution will benefit the nation”

However, National Democratic Alliance’s(NDA) choice of its presidential candidate has surprised several opposition parties and Congress president

Sonia Gandhi has called an urgent meeting on 22 June to collectively review before confirming its decision to nominate veteran Congress Leader Ghulam Nabi Azad for candidacy.

A gesture of surprise first came loud from West Bengal where chief minister Mamata Banerjee remarked “in order to support someone, we must know the person”.

“Candidate should be someone who will benefit the country. The opposition meets on June 22 , only then will we finalise our choice,” she added.

Without blurring disagreement, she Mamta suggested that seniors in BJP like LK Advani or Sushma Swaraj could have been named.

“The President’s is a key post. Someone of the stature of Pranab Mukherjee or even Sushma Swaraj ro Advani-ji , should have been the candidate,” she said.

BJP ally Shiv Sena too seemed wary and said, it was not consulted at all in the matter.Shiva Sena MP Sanjay Raut said BJP President Amit Shah called up Sena President Uddhav Thackeray soon after announcing Kovind’s name and sought support. And Thackeray, he said, responded saying Sena will call a meeting before taking a final call.

Coloring it as a strategy political , Communist Party Marxist leader said Kovind “was chief of RSS Dalit branch and somewhere it was a political fight or contest,”.

Mayawati finds the caste element satisfactory and suggested the opposition to think on similar lines. “We are not against Kovind’s nomination…As he is a Dalit, we wont oppose his name unless opposition unitedly announces another Dalit name that’s popular,” she said.

Meanwhile Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said he was “personally glad” over the candidature but when quizzed on JD-U support for it , he said the top will be discussed and decided.

Kovind who is a Dalit hails from a farmer familey with humble origins. He took to learning to become a lawyer and has worked cases  in the State’s High Court as well as Supreme Court.

He was top aide to former Prime Minister Morarji Desai and has represented India at United Nations in New York.

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