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Mayawati's slight opposition due to Kovind's association with RSS: NCP

Mayawati's slight opposition due to Kovind's association with RSS: NCP

A Maha Dalit leader from rural Kanpur, Ram Nath Kovind was chosen as the NDA's presidential candidate by the BJP with an eye on wooing the most backwards and poor classes.

The nomination of Kovind, a Dalit leader, by the Bharatiya Janata Party appeared to have put the opposition in a quandary as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) said it can not oppose the NDA candidate unless the opposition puts up a popular Dalit candidate. "With his illustrious background in the legal arena, Shri Kovind's knowledge and understanding of the Constitution will benefit the nation".

Kovind's appointment as Bihar governor was done without any consultation with the state government or the chief minister.

Even as Ram Nath Kovind was declared as the ruling BJP's candidate for President of India yesterday, dissenting voices are being heard across the political spectrum.

Naveen had earlier today said "We will discuss it with senior party leaders of BJD and then inform the media later", said Naveen today. "All the opposition parties had collectively decided on evolving a consensus on the Presidential candidate when leaders of 18 parties met recently", Azad said. The Congress party declined to remark on the declaration however communicated disappointment over NDA's assignment of the Presidential applicant without talking about with restriction parties.

If elected, Kovind will be the second Dalit Indian President after K.R. Narayanan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leaving for the U.S. on Friday and it is believed that all the formalities will be completed before then.

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"Since Mayawati has to take care of her Dalit vote bank, she can not openly oppose a Dalit candidate".

Following the announcement, most Opposition leaders indicated that they will announce the name of their own candidate after a meeting of UPA members on 22 June.

Kovind has been the former President of the BJP Dalit Morcha (1998-2002) and President of the All-India Koli Samaj.

Kovind's selection is also going to challenge the opposition's plans to to field a common candidate against the BJP.

CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said his party would take a call after a meeting of Opposition parties on Thursday. Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati said they are "positive", promising support only if the Opposition does not announce a popular Dalit name. He specifically named Union minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, TC Gehlot, M Venkaiah Naidu, Jharkhand governor Draupadi Murmu, party veterans Murli Manohar Joshi and LK Advani, party sources said. They said that when they decide, they will come back to us with a proposal.

"I am not saying that the Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind is unfit to be the President".

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.


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