BJP Fields Ram Nath Kovind As NDA’S Presidential Candidate

Kovind a lawyer by profession, two-term Rajya Sabha MP and former president of the BJP’s ‘Dalit Morcha’.

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India might get its second Dalit president as the BJP has picked Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as the NDA nominee for the top constitutional post. The selection of the 71-year-old Dalit leader and a two-term BJP Rajya Sabha MP, has come as a surprise to some.

The BJP government has been under fire from opposition for a number of attacks on Dalits across India. However, naming Kovind as a presidential candidate may let them off the hook.

BJP President Amit Shah made the announcement following an over two-hour long meeting of the party's parliamentary board, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior party leaders.

Seeking support from opposition parties, Shah said Modi spoke to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought their support.

Top BJP leaders also spoke to various opposition parties and got in touch with their allies.

Kovind, a lawyer by profession and former president of the BJP's 'Dalit Morcha', is likely to file his papers on 23 June.

Video Editor: Ashutosh Bharadwaj

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