Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, 72, who comes from Kanpur, is a Dalit pick for presidential candidate for BJP, will expand the party’s outreach to his community after it delivered so well in the recent Uttar Pradesh election.
The ‘spectacular surprise’ display by Modi and Shah, will pay off to NDA. If elected, which is highly likely, Kovind will also be a President who Modi will be supremely comfortable with. Keep in mind that it is the new President who will swear in the next government in 2019.
Not just for political reasons. The pick of Kovind gives Modi and Shah the advantage of soothing the feelings of the Dalits who have been facing the wrath of the Hindutva fanatics across the country of late. His extensive work experience in states like UP, from where he belongs, and Bihar, of which he is the governor, also makes his case strong as the future president of India. The RSS connection further makes Kovind a perfect face to become the No.1 citizen of the country in the era of saffron politics.
Kovind is widely respected among political circles for his integrity and people remember his family to have led an abstemious lifestyle during his political career, including when he was a Rajya Sabha member from 1994 to 2006.
The BJP-led NDA has 48.6 per cent votes in the electoral college and has been promised support from regional parties like the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, YSR Congress Party, and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
Ram Nath Kovind, was Central Government Advocate in Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979 and Central Government Standing Counsel in Supreme Court from 1980 to 1993. He became Advocate-on-Record of the Supreme Court of India in 1978. Had practiced in Delhi High Court and Supreme Court for about 16 years till 1993. He was enrolled as an Advocate in 1971 with the Bar Council of Delhi.
The BJP meet was held after a three-member party committee, comprising of Rajnath Singh, Naidu and Arun Jaitley last week met with allies and opposition parties.
The BJP on Sunday had stepped up its efforts to gather support for its unnamed Presidential nominee, with its top leaders talking to allies Shiv Sena and LJP as well as the Trinamool Congress and BJD, even as it disclosed that the NDA candidate will file the nomination before June 24 after the opposition is conveyed its choice.
Bharatiya Janata Party and allied MPs are being called to New Delhi by Tuesday to sign the nomination papers. Each nomination paper has to be signed by at 50 proposers and an equal number of seconders who can also be MLAs.
BJP President Amit Shah congratulated Ramnath Kovind on being announced as NDA’s Presidential candidate.
I believe that all political parties will come forward and support NDA's candidate for the President's office.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) June 19, 2017
In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Kovind, who is likely to file his papers on June 23, will make an “exceptional” president.
I am sure Shri Ram Nath Kovind will make an exceptional President & continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden & marginalised.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 19, 2017