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BJP spokesperson files complaint against journalist for criticising its presidential pick

20 June 2017

Putting all speculation to rest, the BJP on Monday announced senior Uttar Pradesh leader and Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit, as its nominee for the Presidential poll. "He may be qualified for the job or post, but as Mamata di said we don't know much about the gentleman and his caliber or charisma so where is the question of extending support?".

Telangana Chief Minister and TRS Chief Rao also extended his support to NDA's presidential candidate after speaking to Prime Minister Modi.

While on the other hand, refraining from commenting on Mayawati' remark, JD (U) leader Neeraj Kumar said they only hope that the election of the first citizen of India (President) should take place without any controversy popping up.

The BJP has lined up its Union ministers and senior leaders of its allies as proposers and seconders for filing the nomination papers of the presidential candidate.

"Soniaji has said they will hold a discussion before a decision", Shah told newspersons.

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Kovind said he will meet leaders of major political parties and seek their support to emerge as a "consensus candidate" for the coveted post. The BJP is also hopeful of support from the BJD and the AIADMK, which are in power in Odisha and Tamil Nadu respectively. But the nomination of the BJP's presidential candidate is likely to be filed by June 23, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leaving for the United States on June 24. The Chief Minister yesterday paid a courtesy visit to Kovind at the Raj Bhawan in Patna.

Opposition leader in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said that it is true that government had informed Sonia Gandhi but they had already decided name by then and we were not expecting it.

India's Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (pic) tweeted that Ram Nath Kovind would "make an exceptional president".

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to me about the Presidential nominee".

Raja said, "Now they have named a person with an RSS background".

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The SP is likely to support the Congress candidate while RJD leader Lalu Yadav, who is likely to miss the June 22 meeting as he has to appear in court in Ranchi, has made it clear he would like the Opposition to field a candidate.

A source in the opposition said, "Ambedkar's grandson is an ideal candidate and will get the support of the BSP". Kovind's nomination will help the party to consolidate Dalit vote bank ahead of polls.

"I am not for a moment saying that the Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind is unfit to be the President". But instead of coming to us with the proposal they announced the candidate.

Notably, President Pranab Mukherjee's term ends on July 24.

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