Kovind to file papers today; PM, NDA CMs to witness

With both the NDA and the Opposition parties' presidential candidates already in the fray - Ram Nath Kovind (NDA) and Meira Kumar (UPA), the result is already decided especially after Nitish Kumar of the RJD and Bihar's Chief Minister has thrown in his lot with the NDA selected candidate.

Sharad Yadav was also a member of the sub-committee formed by opposition parties to decide their presidential candidate.

"We have made a decision to field the name of Meira Kumar for the presidential election".

"All the 17 political parties met here today in the afternoon and have unanimously proposed the name of Shri Meira Kumar ji (an Indian honorific) for the forthcoming presidential elections", Ghulam Nabi Azad, a senior Congress leader, told reporters. Kovind's Dalit background had made him a candidate that political parties can not afford to reject, even more so with his added credentials of being a crusader for the Scheduled castes and OBCs. "This is an insult to "Bihar's daughter", Sushil Modi said.

Reacting on the JD-U's decision to support National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) Presidential candidate Kovind, Kharge said: "Nitish Kumar's party JD-U's announcement to support Kovind is his decision".

The JD (U)'s surprise decision to back Kovind had led to cracks in the opposition camp as its chief Nitish Kumar was the one who had initiated the process for a joint opposition strategy on the issue. Only Nitish Kumar's JD (U) had backed Kovind's candidature.

Kovind will be staying at the 10 Akbar Road bungalow in the heart of Lutyens' Delhi for about a month till the Presidential election on July 17, according to sources.

He also informed that Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, who was earlier being considered as the Opposition candidate, had himself called to say that it would be better if the Opposition puts up a Dalit candidate after the NDA named a Dalit as its nominee.

Other parties represented at the meeting included JD-S, RSP, JMM, Kerala Congress, IUML and the AIUDF of Assam.

"This clearly shows that it has no commitment to elect leaders from marginalised sections to high offices and had chose to field her purely done as a token exercise", BJP spokesperson G.V.L. Narsimha Rao said.

  • Leroy Wright