9 Prime Ministers From UP, the State Might Now Send Its First Prez

Bihar’s governor Ram Nath Kovind might become the first President from Uttar Pradesh.

2 min read
BJP’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind with BJP national chief Amit Shah. (Photo: PTI)

Ram Nath Kovind, Bihar’s incumbent governor and the BJP’s presidential nominee, may be the country’s first President from Uttar Pradesh, a state that has produced nine Prime Ministers. If the 71-year-old NDA nominee becomes President, UP will have the honour of sending someone to the Rastrapati Bhavan.

The closest the state came to having its representative in the President's House was in 1969, when Mohammad Hidaytullah became the first Acting President of India from 20 July 1969 to 24 August 1969.

Here is a list of Indian Prime Ministers from UP, which includes incumbent PM Narendra Modi:

UP has produced 9 Prime Ministers so far, including incumbent PM Narendra Modi. (Graphic: The Quint)
UP has produced 9 Prime Ministers so far, including incumbent PM Narendra Modi. (Graphic: The Quint)

Amongst the former Prime Ministers from the state, the only surviving one is Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The BJP picked incumbent Bihar governor and Dalit leader Kovind as the NDA nominee for the top constitutional post on Monday. The two-term Rajya Sabha member will be the second Dalit President as his election is almost a certainty with the ruling bloc enjoying majority in the electoral college. KR Narayanan was the country's first Dalit President.

Kovind was born on 1 October 1945 at Kanpur-Dehat in UP and studied commerce and law at Kanpur University. He also served as a member on the board of management at the BR Ambedkar University, Lucknow.
The former lawyer and RSS man’s face doesn’t grab airtime, his comments do not court controversy and his actions seldom make news. The NDA’s man for the country’s highest constitutional post is as low profile as can be.

Names of several presidential probables from the NDA stable were doing the rounds but Kovind, a former national spokesperson of the BJP, was not among them. While the choice may have surprised political watchers, it's an astute move for a party working overtime to expand its social base and win over new constituencies.

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