'Why didn't Cong make Meira Kumar president when in power'

Remaining firm on its stand of supporting National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, Nitish said his party took the decision after a detailed discussion with all party leaders. The sources said only when the Congress leaders assured him of "bigger role in the 2019 general elections" and CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury visited him that he agreed to come.

"It is a well thought out decision, and our sentiments are clear". "There could not be a better candidate than her", he said. The JD (U)'s surprise decision to back Kovind had led to cracks in the Opposition camp as JD (U) chief Nitish Kumar was the one who had initiated the process for a joint Opposition strategy on the issue.

Meanwhile, NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind+ on Friday filed his nomination papers for the upcoming poll to elect the 15th President of India+.

Prominent among those who attended the meeting held in the Parliament House Library were Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh and senior party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge and Ahmed Patel, besides NCP's Sharad Pawar and RJD's Lalu Prasad.

He appealed to the electorates from Telangana State to vote as per their conscience in the Presidential elections.

Shortly after Kumar's candidature was announced, BSP supremo Mayawati extended her party's support to the Congress leader, saying she was "more capable and popular" than Kovind. She said the post was not symbolic and that capability and experience must supersede all other considerations. Meira Kumar has worked in various Indian missions across the world as an IFS officer.

"Gopalkrishna Gandhi called up the day the NDA nominee was announced to say that "now you'll have to consider differently".

Countering Jaipal Reddys statement, TRS MLC Karne Prabhakar said his party is neither in NDA nor in UPA, and sought to know as to why the TRS was not approached by the Opposition for support. Interestingly, Pawar only mentioned three probable candidates for the Presidential polls - former Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, former Bombay University vice chancellor Bhalchandra Mungerkar and Meira Kumar - at the meeting.

However, JD (U) leader Shayam Rajak said JD (U) is part of the Grand Alliance and it will not join the NDA. So every party of Bihar should not think about anybody but support Meira Kumar. We are not supporting or opposing a person. Soon after the announcement was reported, the BJP said that the Congress has made Meira Kumar a "scapegoat" by fielding her as the Opposition's Presidential candidate.

  • Zachary Reyes