Culture

Himanta vouches NEDA support for Kovind

Himanta vouches NEDA support for Kovind”

The BJP Monday named 71-year-old Ram Nath Kovind as party-led National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) choice for the country's next president.

Asked if the faction, which has 12 MPs and an equal number of MLAs, was supporting Kovind since he hailed from the dalit community, Panneerselvam said the presidential nominee has been a MP twice, besides having served as Bihar governor, and was, therefore, "experienced". "He has given his approval to vote for the candidate desirable to the state unit", he said in Kozhikode.

While the Janata Dal (United) on Wednesday, June 21, chose to support the candidature of former Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind for the post of president, the Left parties and the Congress still appear well on course to field a candidate to oppose the Dalit lawyer-politician as they see in him a man with an Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) background.

Despite wide consensus on the candidature of Kovind as next President, the Opposition, especially the Left parties, are eager to put up their own candidate against him in an "ideological battle". The JDU also made a decision to skip the opposition meeting in New Delhi on Thursday.

The BJP has thanked the JD (U) and Nitish Kumar for their support to Ram Nath Kovind. He also said that the party's decision has been conveyed to Gandhi and Lalu Prasad, the chief of coalition partner RJD.

Earlier on June 19, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that a thorough discussion will be held on the matter within the JD (U).

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In fact, this decision comes a day before a crucial meeting of opposition parties wherein they will decide their presidential nominee.

The election is scheduled for 17 July and the counting of votes will take place on 20 July.

Several non-allies of the BJP like Biju Janata Dal, Telugu Desam Party (TDS) and the Janata Dal (United) have also backed Kovind's candidature.

CPI leader D. Raja acknowledged that the JD-U move, if correct, was a setback to the opposition.

President Pranab Mukherjee's term ends on July 24.

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