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Kovind is NDA Presidential candidate

Kovind is NDA Presidential candidate

Soon after Ram Nath Kovind's candidature was announced for the president's post on behalf of the NDA, Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and requested his support, the CM's office said in a release.

"We have decided that Ram Nath Kovind will be the NDA Presidential candidate", Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah said after a almost two-hour meeting here of the party's Parliamentary Board attended by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and senior leaders.

Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind will be NDA's Presidential candidate, said BJP chief Amit Shah on Monday.

Sena smells vote-bank politics: NDA constituents barring the Shiv Sena today welcomed the nomination of Ram Nath Kovind for the president's post.

The electoral college, which elects the president through the system of proportional representation, comprises elected MPs and members of state legislative assemblies - a total of 4,896 voters including 4,120 MLAs and 776 elected MPs.

Trinamool Congress national spokesperson Derek O'Brien also said Kovind was not a well-known person.

Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu insisted that all parties were consulted. "Opposition will meet on June 22, then only we can announce our decision", she added.

Stopping short of expressing her party's support to Mr Kovind, BSP supremo Mayawati said her party could not be "negative" to a Dalit candidate. On 8th of August 2015, the President of India appointed him as the Governor of Bihar. The Left parties said the Opposition will field a candidate after a meeting on Thursday.

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Nitish Kumar called on Kovind in Patna and said he is "personally glad" over his candidature, but was non-commital on Janata Dal-United's support to his candidature.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that Kovind would "make an exceptional president" and "continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden and marginalised". He was the general secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Koli Samaj in Kanpur (the Koli community is mainly engaged in weaving), and the national president of the BJP Scheduled Caste Morcha. Even with the BJP's token gesture of consulting the opposition last week, Kovind's name was not revealed.

The charade of consultation with the Opposition, as an astute Opposition leader put it, was meant to elicit unilateral cooperation rather than arrive at a consensus candidate.

Besides, nearly all other BJP allies have announced their support to Kovind with LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan calling it a "political masterstroke".

"As decided, the Opposition parties will meet on June 22 for a discussion but before that we will have a talk with our Party Chief".

"Congress does not want to comment on this issue as we want to take a unanimous decision with all other opposition parties on the presidential elections".

Shah revealed that Modi telephoned Sonia Gandhi, head of the Congress Party, the main opposition force, and Manmohan Singh, the former prime minister, to tell them about the decision and seek support.


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