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Bihar Governor Kovind is NDA nominee for President's post

20 June 2017

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has appreciated the National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) decision to choose Bihar Governor Ramnath Kovind as the Presidential nominee and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chosen a patriot who has always wished good for the nation.

"We have decided that Ram Nath Kovind will be the NDA Presidential candidate", Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah said after a almost two-hour meeting here of the party's Parliamentary Board attended by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and senior leaders.

Virtually accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party of playing Dalit vote-bank politics, the Shiv Sena June 19 said it would not support Ram Nath Kovind if he had been nominated merely to win Dalit votes.

On his part, Ram Nath Kovind, a former lawye, said he would seek support from all parties to emerge as a "consensus candidate" for the coveted post. He devoted his life to public service & worked for poor and marginalised.

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar welcomed the announcement without expressly committing his support.

India's prime minister wields most of the executive power, but the president can send back some parliamentary bills for reconsideration and also plays a guiding role in the process of forming governments.

"We had full hope that before announcing they will discuss some names". However, Lalu, who is his main ally and the Congress, who is their junior partner in Bihar, feel that it's imperative to push for an election for Rashtrapati Bhavan to make it clear that they can not rally behind the likelihood of the first-ever BJP leader as President of India. All the parties in the opposition are likely to meet on June 22.

Yesterday, the BJP stumped the opposition by picking Mr Kovind, 71, as its candidate for President.

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Shah had announced the name of Kovind as NDA's consensus candidate for the post of Indian President. "I had a word with Laluji and Sonia Gandhi and there will be discussion on this", he said.

BJP President Amit Shah had formed a panel comprising senior cabinet ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu to consult with allies and opposition parties for the presidential candidate.

It there is contest the polling for the President will be held on July 17.

Asked whether BJD supported the NDA candidate out of any pressure, party spokesman dismissed it and said "We continue to maintain equal distance from both BJP and Congress. We are against it, but we will have to discuss the issue within the CPI and with other opposition parties".

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