Ram Nath Kovind will be the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate for the post of President. Kovind is the Governor of Bihar at present.
Speaking to reporters, BJP president Amit Shah said: “Ram Nath Kovind comes from a Dalit family and has struggled a lot. We hope that he would be the unanimous candidate for the election.”
Born in Kanpur on 1 October 1945, Kovind became a Rajya Sabha MP from UP in April 1994 and served for two consecutive terms.
If elected, Kovind will be the second Dalit Indian President after K.R. Narayanan. Kovind, 71, has practiced in the Delhi High Court and then the Supreme Court till the early 1990s. He once headed the BJP’s Dalit wing. He is likely to file nominations on 23 June.
If an election is held, the BJP and its allies are positioned to make their candidate win as many regional parties have assured support to the ruling NDA.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leaving for the USA on Friday and it is believed that all the formalities will be completed before then.
JDU leader Sharad Yadav said: “We will discuss about the Presidential candidate in the meeting of Opposition parties. We will also discuss the name announced by the NDA.” The meeting of Opposition parties is likely to be held on 22 June.