Bihar Governor, Dalit leader Ram Nath Kovind NDA’s prez candidate: Shah
Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind has been made the NDA’s presidential candidate, said Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah on Monday, addressing the media after the party’s parliamentary body meet.
Shah further said that Kovind’s name was decided upon after consultations with Opposition leaders, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi and ex-prime minister Manmohan Singh.
“PM has personally spoken to Sonia Gandhi ji, Manmohan Singh ji and everyone has been informed about the decision,” he added.
Gandhi had said that the Congress’ decision will be announced after discussion, Shah said.
Kovind is a Dalit leader who has been Bihar’s governor for three years, since the beginning of Modi’s tenure. Hailing from Uttar Pradesh, Kovind has been elected as a Rajya Sabha MP twice, in 1994 and 2000. He is also an advocate and has practiced law for 12 years.
Notably, if elected, Kovind will be the second Dalit Indian president after K R Narayanan.
Speaking about Kovind, Shah said, “he has always worked for the welfare and upliftment of Dalits and downtrodden classes”.
However, the BJP chief said that they were yet to decide on a name for the post of vice-president.
The BJP Parliamentary Board’s had met to decide the presidential candidate at party headquarters with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior leaders present.
The Board members were briefed about the consultation undertaken by a three-member party committee with allies and opposition parties.
The committee members included Union ministers Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley, who were also the members of the Board.
The presidential polls will be held on July 17.