Ram Nath Kovind resigns as Bihar Governor, Tripathi gets additional charge

Fernando Stephens
June 20, 2017

Cracks have appeared in the Opposition's resolve to field a common candidate with "impeccable secular credentials" for President after the ruling BJP announced Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as its nominee. "Based on the request of BJD, many parties including the BJP had supported his nomination", he said.

Poised to be the country's 14th President, Kovind will be the only Dalit after KR Narayanan to occupy Rashtrapati Bhavan.

"I hope they (opposition) would not have any reason to oppose the candidature of Ram Nath Kovind because of his background, non-controversial nature, and sound legal and social background. With that option being ruled out, the BJD was sure of supporting the NDA's candidate", said the MP preferring anonymity.

Current President Pranab Mukherjee also an old Congress hand, has straddled both governments, and worked to keep both on the right side.

The NDA's Presidential nominee was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh in 1994-2000 and 2000-2006.

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Yechury said, "Kovind ji was the chief of RSS's Dalit branch". The first Dalit President is the justification being heard ad nauseum over the past 24 hours. So somewhere it is a political fight or contest.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) said also seemed miffed with the move and said the way Kovind's name was announced it portends that there would be a political contest.

The meeting was attended by the BJP's national president, Amit Shah, Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari, among others. When we asked on whom they want to build consensus, they had no answer then.

Nominations will close on June 28 and an electoral college consisting of elected members of India's federal parliament and state legislatures will decide the victor on July 17.

As to whether the JD-U will back his candidature, Nitish Kumar said: "It is hard to say at this point of time. Now we will take a call".

Other reports by BadHub

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