Congress accuses BJP of unilateralism on Presidential candidate

Let's not forget that Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal (BJD) (3 percent) has confirmed its support.

Chandrasekhar Rao welcomed the NDA government's decision, BJP's ally Shiv Sena remained apprehensive.

"As he is a Dalit we are positive on his name, but only if the opposition doesn't announce a popular Dalit name", she said.

Shah revealed that Modi telephoned Sonia Gandhi, head of the Congress Party, the main opposition force, and Manmohan Singh, the former prime minister, to tell them about the decision and seek support.

Kovind served as a member of the Board of Management of Dr. B.R Ambedkar University, Lucknow and served as Member of Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.

Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah announced the name of Kovind, 71, after a almost two-hour meeting of the BJP parliamentary board attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others, ending all suspense about the NDA's candidature for the top constitutional post. He devoted his life to public service & worked for poor and marginalised.

"The Shiv Sena is not interested in the presidential election if you are going to field a candidate only because he belongs to the Dalit community". So there is no question of mutual consent. "They informed us after announcing this decision so there is no scope for consensus now..."

"All the opposition parties had collectively decided on evolving a consensus on the Presidential candidate when leaders of 18 parties met recently", he said. Can they afford to oppose the candidature of a Dalit candidate? "This is not a very mature decision", she said.

"The Hon'ble PM spoke to me to inform about the candidature of Ram Nath Kovind as Presidential nominee". It has also pushed the Opposition into a Catch-22 situation as voting against him would be seen to be opposing a Dalit leader. "We don't want to comment on the merits and demerits of the candidate", Congress spokesperson Ghulam Nabi Azad said at a press conference.

TDP - The Telugu Desam Party, a constituent of the NDA, has offered its full support to Kovind.

Mayawati told ANI that it could have been better if BJP would have selected a name from a non-political background. Extraordinary secrecy had been maintained by top BJP brass in this regard as no leader had distantly hinted at Kovind. So somewhere it is a political fight or a contest.

To enable these numbers to come to parliament, electoral constituencies are reserved for them. "Let us take it as a duty".

In a surprise move, the BJP announced that the low-profile Kovind was the National Democratic Alliance's presidential candidate for the July 17 poll. The nomination process will close in two weeks - June 28.

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