Presidential polls: Ram Nath Kovind files nomination papers, in presence of PM

Asked why his party is supporting Kovind and not Congress leader Meira Kumar, who is a Dalit leader from Bihar and the Opposition nominee, JD (U) leader KC Tyagi said, "We are supporting Kovind due to his conduct as the Governor of Bihar".

"It is an election for President".

The Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana too are expected to be present when the NDA presidential candidate files his nomination papers.

The Bihar CM also took on his coalition partner and his ally Congress President Sonia Gandhi for choosing a candidate "only to lose" in the hand of NDA. We have a lot of respect for Bihar ki beti (Meira Kumar). Whereas Ramnath Kovind is an underground person.

The former Bihar chief minister said while Nitish Kumar skipped today's meeting of opposition parties, RLD leader Ajit Singh was there, ensuring that 17 parties supported Meira Kumar's name. His Dalit background makes him a sound political choice for the BJP party working overtime to woo Dalits. The bill was passed in the Upper House of the Parliament with all JD (U) members backing it. Sharad Yadav was then in Lok Sabha; the bill did not come there.

CPI national secretary D. Raja said that the Opposition would fight the contest seriously despite less numbers as it was a battle of ideologies. "But we feel that this is only an attempt at hiding their real agenda of furthering monolithic Hindu supremacy", Dhar said. "I believe they should have a re-think", Kumar said, adding, "But you (Congress) have begun (preparations for the 2019 general election) with a losing strategy".

However, political parties in Tripura seem to have mostly opposed Kovind, BJP's dark horse for the Presidential election this year, save BJP itself of course.

Kovind is guaranteed to get more than 61 per cent of votes, and the finally tally depends on how some still- undecided regional parties vote, BJP sources said.

The Congress said the post of the President should be held by someone who would protect the Constitution, "belong to all" and be away from politics.

He also recalled that it was Nitish Kumar's JD-U which initiated the discussions for a joint opposition candidate against an NDA nominee.

  • Leroy Wright