The opposition Congress and the Communist Party of India (CPI) have decided to meet on June 22 to discuss the Centre’s decision on presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah had announced the name of Kovind as NDA’s consensus candidate for the post of Indian President.
Kovind before leaving for New Delhi yesterday met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and thanked the people of Bihar for their support.
Following the announcement, Prime Minister Modi reached out to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh to seek the grand old party’s support for Kovind.
Prime Minister Modi also spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E. Palaniswamy over NDA’s presidential candidate pick.
The Prime Minister said that Kovind will make an exceptional President and continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden and marginalised.
However, the decision did not go down well with some of the political parties with Congress alleging that the announcement was made without taking the grand old party into confidence while BJP’s ally Shev Sena termed it a political move to lure vote bank.
Joining the critics of NDA’s Presidential nominee, Shiv Sena said it would not extend its support if the Centre is eyeing a vote bank by nominating a Dalit face for the upcoming President polls.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee didn’t seem happy with the Kovind’s candidature. She said that someone of the stature of President Pranab Mukherjee or even External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj or BJP veteran L.K. Advani may have been made the candidate.
The decision, however, was welcomed by some of the political leaders including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
Nitish Kumar expressed his happiness that the Bihar Governor would be the NDA’s candidate for the President elections. He, however, said a detailed discussion would be held on the matter within the JD (U).