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BJP picks the candidture of Ram Nath Kovind for next President of India

Jun 19th, 2017 9:46 am | By | Category: LATEST NEWS

Ramnath Kovind

Ramnath Kovind

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party proposed Bihar governor and Dalit leader Ram Nath Kovind’s name for India’s next president on Monday, a move being seen as part of the party’s outreach towards the country’s backward castes.

At a press conference in Delhi after a meeting of the BJP’s parliamentary board, party chief Amit Shah announced the 71-year-old former lawyer and two-time Rajya Sabha MP’s name.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to Sonia Gandhi – president of the principal opposition Congress party – and former PM Manmohan Singh about the decision.

“Sonia ji has said that they will hold a discussion before a decision,” Shah told reporters.

Kovind’s candidature is likely to help the BJP warm up to India’s Dalit communities that make up more than 15% of the population and are electorally significant in many big states.

The decision is likely to put many opposition leaders such as Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Lalu Prasad, Bahujan Samaj Party’s Mayawati and Samajwadi Party in a tight spot, because it might be difficult for them to oppose a Dalit leader due to political equations.

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