BJD to support Kovind, announces Patnaik

Frederick Owens
June 20, 2017

"Since Mayawati has to take care of her Dalit vote bank, she can not openly oppose a Dalit candidate". Presidential election always has been and is a political contest.

As an advocate, Mr Kovind took the lead in providing free legal aid to the weaker sections, specially SC/STs and women, and poor and needy girls under the aegis of the Free Legal Aid Society in Delhi. "What Thackeray has said today is what he should have said".

Addressing a press conference here, party president Amit Shah said the BJP parliamentary board had decided on Kovind's name.

"Shah informed him about the BJP choice and also sought the Shiv Sena's support for Kovind's candidature", Raut said.

The Sena's stance on Kovind's candidature in the upcoming election will be considered crucial as the party is a BJP partner both at the center and in Maharashtra. "As he is a Dalit we are positive on his nomination", Mayawati was quoted as saying by ANI.

Patil defeated NDA candidate and Vice President B.S. Shekhawat.

So far, the Bihar chief minister has publicly refused to commit any support to the BJP's candidate.

According to sources, "Shiv Sena's support is crucial for NDA as the party has a total vote pool of around 25, 893".

The BJP had taken a "unilateral decision", Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said soon after the announcement of Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as the NDA's candidate for president.

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"Opposition will meet on June 22, then only we can announce our decision", she added.

Banerjee said she is would be waiting for the all-party political meeting on June 22 before taking a final call. Especially in Bihar, where Mr Kovind has served as Governor since August 2015 and where the two main partners in government, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Lalu Yadav, have a propensity for disagreement. "I don't want to comment on the merits and demerits of the candidate".

The surprise decision stunned the opposition which accused the ruling party of unilateralism.

Raja said, "Now they have named a person with an RSS background". The Opposition has been left behind in the race because it is still working on a name to be put up as a common candidate. "Based on the request of BJD, many parties including the BJP had supported his nomination", he said.

However, he assured that a meeting will be held on the matter as well.

Nominating a Dalit for the President's post makes it hard for Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi to further their own interests in this respect. "Someone of the stature of Pranab Mukherjee, or even Sushma Swaraj or Advani-ji, may have been made the candidate", she said.

"We will clear our stand on support to NDA candidate after discussion with senior leaders". "Being a farmer, he is equally familiar with farm sector and farmers' issues", Naidu said.

Congress president, Sonia Gandhi.

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