Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has called a meeting of senior Janata Dal (United) leaders on Wednesday to discuss extension of support to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Ram Nath Kovind for the post of president. "Based on the request of BJD, many parties including the BJP had supported his nomination", he said. "It also shows his 'samaaveshi (integrative)' personality", SuMo said.SuMo also recalled how Nitish had supported UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee for the President's post even when he was in the NDA. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad declined to go into the merits and demerits of Kovind and did not say whether or not the opposition will field a candidate.
A Rashtrapati Bhavan communique said Kovind's resignation has been accepted. "With that option being ruled out, the BJD was sure of supporting the NDA's candidate", said the MP preferring anonymity. Mr. Mukherjee completes his five-year term on July 24, 2017. He was brought into the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh.
When asked about what will be the Opposition's strategy to counter BJP in the presidential election, Mulayam said, "I can't say what will Opposition decide".
The final decision on the presidential nominee was taken at the BJP Parliamentary Board meeting, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah, including Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Ananth Kumar, M Venkaiah Naidu and several top leaders.
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If elected, Kovind will be the second Dalit president after KR Narayanan. And instead prefer a candidate who has worked under them at some point or the other, and hence remains beholden for the post. The argument in her favour was that she was the first woman to be the President of India. Many said that he only has nodding acquaintance with RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
"If they have declared Kovind's name for getting Dalit votes, then we are not interested". So somewhere it is a political fight or contest.
As to whether the JD-U will back his candidature, Nitish Kumar said: "It is hard to say at this point of time".
The Election Commission of India (ECI) issued the notification in this regard and the process of the nomination has started that will continue till June 28.