BJP picks Bihar governor as presidential candidate

"We have decided that Ram Nath Kovind will be the NDA Presidential candidate", Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah said after a almost two-hour meeting here of the party's Parliamentary Board attended by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and senior leaders.

The BJP's parliamentary board backed the nomination of Ram Nath Kovind, governor of the state of Bihar, party president Amit Shah told a news conference in New Delhi.

Bhubaneswar: BJD to extend support to NDA's Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind declares Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik.

Modi said Kovind would make an "exceptional" President and called him a strong voice for the poor and the marginalised communities. Terming the BJP's efforts to reach out to the opposition through its senior leaders as a "formality and a PR exercise", Azad said the ruling party should have built consensus before announcing the candidate.

He said Prime Minister Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah have chosen a really good person, who is honest and hardworking.

The Opposition is said to be considering the names of former speaker Meira Kumar and B R Ambedkar's grandson Prakash Ambedkar to field as the Opposition candidate against Ram Nath Kovind.

Naidu said Kovind is a veteran politician with grass roots experience and deep understanding of Indian society besides being a senior lawyer with a thorough understanding of Indian State and theConstitution of India.

"We had full hope that before announcing they will discuss some names".

While talking to reporters in New Delhi, Kovind said PM Modi called him this morning to inform that he was the BJP's presidential candidate. Earlier Sena had asked BJP to choose either RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and Agriculture Expert MS Swaminathan or nominate a candidate of their choose for the president's post.

Nitish Kumar, according to sources has conveyed his reservations to Sonia Gandhi, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Sitaram Yechury.

Meanwhile, BJP leaders say Kovind is well-read and has done well as chief of the BJP's SC/ST cell. They have chose to meet on June 22 to take a call on fielding a candidate against the ruling's party's nominee.

While the NDA's combined strength of MPs and MLAs is closer to the majority mark in the electoral college meant for electing the president, the BJP wants to go one step further and take the fizz out of the Opposition's newfound unity. He's been President of the BJP Dalit Morcha and President of All India Koli Samaj.

The election will be held on July 17. "We expected that before they take a final decision they will come back to us and the other opposition parties", Congress general secretary Ghulam Nahi Azad said.

  • Zachary Reyes