New Delhi: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has announced Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as its candidate for the upcoming Presidential polls.
The announcement was made in a press briefing by BJP national President Amit Shah.
Kovind is likely to file his papers on June 23, BJP president Amit Shah said after a nearly 2-hour meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board.
A Dalit leader who has been Bihar’s governor for three years, since the beginning of Modi’s tenure, Kovind, hails from a modest family in Uttar Pradesh. He has been elected as a Rajya Sabha MP twice, in 1994 and 2000. He is also an advocate and has practiced law for 12 years.
Notably, if elected, Kovind will be the second Dalit Indian president after K R Narayanan.
Shah further said that the saffron party hoped that the Dalit nominee, Kovind, would remain unchallenged as the choice and would be unanimously selected as the President of India.
Shah also informed that the BJP leaders have talked to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who told them that they would hold discussions over the Presidential nominee and proceed further.
The parliamentary board of the BJP met at New Delhi on Monday to discuss the upcoming Presidential election.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari and M. Venkaiah Naidu and other senior party leaders deliberated on the names for the top constitutional post.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Naidu had earlier met Communist Party of India (CPI) leaders D. Raja and Sudhakar Reddy at the latter's party office over presidential elections.
Naidu also spoke to Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav and Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders Ram Gopal Yadav and Naresh Agrawal over phone and met Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and senior Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Satish Chandra Mishra in this regard.
The BJP formed a panel for parleys with the Opposition as Sonia constituted a sub-group of the opposition parties for the Presidential election to create troubled waters for the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the country's coveted post.
Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, TMC leader Derek O'Brien, Samajwadi Party's Ram Gopal Yadav, BSP's Satish Chandra Mishra, DMK leader R. S. Bharathi and NCP's Praful Patel are part of the sub-group.
The election for the next President of India is to be held on July 17 as President Pranab Mukherjee will demit the office on July 25.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) issued the notification in this regard and the process of the nomination has started that will continue till June 28.