Presidential election: JD(U) backs Ram Nath Kovind, alienates opposition

Janata Dal-United leader KC Tyagi said his party's decision was an "isolated incident" and said it will not affect opposition's unity in putting up a joint fight against Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government in 2019. When we asked on whom they want to build consensus, they had no answer then.

The rebel AIADMK PTA led by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who enjoys the support of 12 MLAs and 12 MPs, held discussions with his supporters and announced that it has beenunanimously made a decision to extend their support to Mr Kovind.

A senior Congress leader, who did not wish to be named, said opposition leaders were not happy with JD (U)'s decision to back the NDA nominee.

Janata Dal (United) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed happiness that the Bihar Governor would be the NDA's candidate for the President elections.

While the final choice will depend on winnability, conversations with leaders of Opposition parties suggested that the race may narrow down to Mr. Ambedkar - the man with the name that would resonate the most among Dalits, and be recognisable across the country - and Dr. Mungekar. (Bihar Chief Minister) Nitish Kumar has taken such a position, it is for him.

"If someone is trying to make a Dalit a President with the objective of gaining a vote bank then we are not with them, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said adding that they would extend their support only if the decision was taken for the development of the nation".

However, it was a "white crows" remark by an AIADMK MLA which triggered the exchange of words between Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader K R Ramasamy and Cooperation Minister Sellur K Raju.

The Opposition is set to meet to decide on its candidate for the next President of India.

Earlier, Ram Nath Kovind's resignation as the Bihar Governor was accepted by President Pranab Mukherjee. "Now we will take a call". The election for the next President of India is to be held on July 17.

The term of President Pranab Mukherjee ends on July 24.

  • Leroy Wright