JD (U) to discuss support for Kovind

JD (U) to discuss support for Kovind”

"After the BJP announced the presidential candidate, Shah once again called me and told me that the names which I had suggested were considered, but that they (BJP) had their reasons for not making them the BJP candidate", he said.

However, another prominent opposition face Mamata Banerjee had not supported Kovind for the presidential candidate. Now, less than a month after that embarrassing incident, Kovind has been announced as the BJP-led NDA's nominee to the post of President. The latter was upset with the Chief Minister's vocal support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's abrupt demonetisation move, for example, when opposition leaders united to condemn it.

If sources are to be believed, DMK's M Kanimozhi has made a round of phone calls to senior leaders across parties, saying it will be hard for the DMK to oppose a Dalit.

Kovind belongs to the Dalit community Koli and had worked extensively in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and also has the backing of BJP's ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

The names of Meira Kumar and Shinde have been floated to counter the NDA so that parties like the BSP would have no problem going against the NDA Dalit candidate.

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The Congress feels that in the 2007 presidential election, when the BJP fielded Bhairon Singh Shekhawat against their candidate, Pratibha Patil, their choice was not termed anti-women. Stalin and Ramadoss also assured him that they will discuss supporting Kovind with leaders of their parties. She said that someone of the stature of President Pranab Mukherjee, or even Sushma Swaraj or Advani ji may have been made the candidate.

Keshari Nath Tripathi, the governor of West Bengal, will now be discharging the functions of the Governor of Bihar, in addition to his own duties, the statement added.

The Sena's verbal support for Kovind is a departure from its previous practice of supported UPA nominees in presidential elections after ditching the BJP.

Earlier, Naveen Patnaik, the Biju Janata Dal chief and chief minister of Odisha, had extended his full support to NDA's presidential nominee, saying that the decision to elect President is above political considerations.

Kovind, 71, is expected to file his nomination papers on June 23.

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