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Monday, 19 June 2017 14:48

It's official: Ram Nath Kovind is NDA's presidential candidate

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New Delhi, Jun 19: Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind has been named as NDA candidate for upcoming presidential poll due to July 17. BJP national president Amit Shah today announced his name after the key party meeting at New Delhi.

ram nath

The meeting attended by top leaders was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"Ram Nath Kovind may file his nomination for president on June 23", Amit Shah said in the post-meeting statement.

Ram Nath a lawyer by profession hails from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh and he belongs to Dalit community.

Who is Ram Nath Kovind?
A chamar leader from rural Kanpur, Ram Nath Kovind was chosen as the NDA's presidential candidate by the BJP in fitness with its dalit scheme of things ahead of the next parliamentary elections.

By chosing a leader belonging to the most backward among the dalits, Prime Minister Narendra Modi intended to send a strong social message.

Kovind as a NDA choice cannot be easily rejected by the opposition parties including the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal (United) or the Bahujan Samaj Party because of his poor background as well as his track record as a non-controversial BJP politician. His name was announced by BJP chief Amit Shah after a meeting of the BJP parliamentary board on Monday afternoon, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior Union ministers who had held parleys with opposition leaders last week.

Two years ago, when he picked Kovind as Bihar governor, Modi had then tweeted that "he has spent his entire life working for the Dalits, the marginalised communities."

Kovind is known to enjoy good rapport with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar who may not oppose his candidature. In fact, Kumar was the first non-BJP leader to call on Kovind in Raj Bhavan on Monday soon after Shah announced his candidture.

Soft-spoken Kovind, like BSP founder Kanshi Ram, belongs to the extremely poor section of the dalit community- the chamars who have faced extreme depravation and discrimination in northern India.

Seventy-one year old Kovind is a former BJP national spokesperson, who served as Rajya Sabha MP for two terms. He headed BJP's SC/ST Morcha (1998 to 2002). Till he became a MP in 1995, Kovind lived in a rented apartment in Delhi's Kalibari. Known to avoid controversy, he never appeared on television when he was party spokesperson.

Kovind served as a member on following important Parliamentary Committees.

His website as governor of Bihar recalled that Kovind had official orders issued by the Centre in 1997, which adversely affected the interests of employees of the Scheduled Castes/Tribes. Subsequently, Kovind succeeded in getting the orders null and void by the passage of three Amendments in the Constitution of India during the first NDA regime.

During his parliamentary tenure of 12 years, he emphasized on the development of basic infrastructure for education in rural areas by helping in construction of school buildings in Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand under M.P. L.A.D. Scheme.

As a lawyer, Kovind took a leading role in providing free legal aid to the weaker sections of society, specially SC/ST women, needy and the poor under the aegis of “Free Legal Aid Society” in Delhi.


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