BJP, which has been very secretive about its candidate for President, has finally announced the name of the candidate that they will be nominating for the post of the 14th President of India. PM Modi has picked the 71-year-old saffron loyalist and current Governor of Bihar, Ram Nath Kovind, as the candidate for the role of President of India.
If elected, Ram Nath Kovind will take over as the President after the incumbent Pranab Mukherjee retires on 24 July. BJP, along with its NDA partners, is just about falling short of the majority numbers which includes the elected members of the two Houses of Parliament and state assemblies. However, with the expected support of the regional parties like TRS of Telengana, YSR Congress, Biju Janata Dal and AIADMK, and with indications that there will be further support from players like NCP, the NDA government is surely in an unassailable position.
The BJP hopes to find a Dalit outreach through the election of Kovind as the President of India. His social background is sure to garner support for the BJP outside NDA, and his ascension will help improve BJP’s standing among Scheduled Castes. Moreover, Kovind belongs to Uttar Pradesh, a state which sends 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha.
The Prime Minister himself has communicated the choice of the candidate to the leaders of the opposition including Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh.
Modi congratulated the party for their choice of candidate and tweeted saying, “I am sure Ram Nath Kovind will make an exceptional President and continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden and marginalised.”
However the Congress, Left, Trinamool and the RJD are planning to oppose the nomination of the BJP candidate. They refused to endorse Kovind and are planning not to give BJP a walkover. The Opposition parties are planning to meet on Thursday with Sonia Gandhi chairing the session. They will decide their strategy then. As a competition to the Dalit face nominated by the BJP, the Opposition may choose from the following as the candidate for President:
- Former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.
- Former Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde too could be considered. Shinde will draw support from NDA constituent Shiv Sena.
Ram Nath Kovind- Know More About Him
The Bihar Governor, Kovind, is a well-known Dalit figure in BJP circles and when elected will be the second Dalit, after late K R Narayanan, to hold the office of the President of India.
- Kovind, is 71 years old and a former chief of BJP’s Dalit Morcha.
- He was twice nominated to the Rajya Sabha before being appointed governor of Bihar.
- He is considered to be a non-controversial person and respects protocol. He plays by the books.
- A farmer’s son, Kovind belongs to Uttar Pradesh and comes from a humble family background.
- He has devoted his life towards uplifting the life of the poor and the marginalised.
The BJP is yet to nominate a candidate for the post of the Vice-President of India. However, they have played the cards extremely well and the chance that we will have Ram Nath Kovind as the next President of India is indeed very bright.