Presidential Polls: After Nitish Kumar, Sharad Pawar kept Opposition on their toes

Presidential Polls: After Nitish Kumar, Sharad Pawar kept Opposition on their toes”

The Congress and other Opposition parties fielded Meira Kumar's name for the Presidential candidate only after the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) named Kovind, a Dalit, as its nominee.

As usual, the kind of politician Lalu Prasad Yadav is he showed it by calling Meira Kumar "Bihar ki Beti" (daughter of Bihar) in his unusual style.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday made it clear that he will not change his stand on backing NDA's candidate Ram Nath Kovind for the presidential election.

Meira Kumar is the daughter of former Deputy Prime Minister and iconic Dalit leader Jagjivan Ram.

Nitish Kumar, Prasad added, had said he was supporting Kovind because he was "a good governor and a good man".

By nominating Meira Kumar, the opposition has made the presidential fight next month a matter of competitive Dalit politics.

He said the president's chair was not for a political battle.

Attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for not discussing the name of its Presidential candidate before the announcement, Lalu Prasad said: "The BJP never communicated their choice of Presidential candidate before announcing it".

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He said that Kovind's name was announced first by the ruling party and the JD (U) did not have any objection to his name. Kumar said she would not be fighting "against anybody" but would be canvassing for her ideas and for her commitment to constitutional values that form the bedrock of Indian democracy.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad yesterday said Meira and her father both did a lot for Bihar and so, every state party should not think about anybody except her.

The Shiv Sena, the Janata Dal (U) and all factions of the AIADMK, including O Panneerselvam and TTV Dinakaran, have all backed Kovind's candidature for the post of President. "The opposition would have been in bigger disarray", a Congress leader said in defence of the delayed decision.

Though the decision to field Meira Kumar was taken unanimously, the name of former union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde was also doing the rounds on the table.

BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra said: "Mayawatiji had said that if the opposition proposes a better Dalit candidate we would support that candidate".

CPI-Ms Sitaram Yechury said “we are appealing to everybody” to support her.

Kumar also individually spoke to leaders of various opposition parties to thank them for the nomination.

The RJD chief also said that it was Nitish Kumar who took the initiative to unite the opposition on the Presidential election.

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