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19 Jun 2017   05:23:39 PM   Monday BdST A- A A+ Print this E-mail this

Dalit leader Ram India’s next president?

Moslem Uddin Ahmed
 Dalit leader Ram India’s next president?

A Dalit leader is poised to become India’s President once again, as the ruling party picked Ram Nath Kovind as its candidate.    

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday announced the name of the Bihar Governor, Mr Kovind, as its candidate to run for the President.

The final decision to name Kovind as the presidential nominee was taken at the BJP Parliamentary Board meeting, reports The Statesman.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief Amit Shah, Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Ananth Kumar, M Venkaiah Naidu and other leaders attended the meeting.

The seventy-year-old Kovind is a Dalit leader from Kanpur. 

Earlier, a three-member committee comprising senior BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, M. Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley was formed by Amit Shah to pick the candidate for the top-most post in India.

Last week, Rajnath Singh and Naidu had met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury to foster consensus on a presidential nominee.

Prime Minister Modi said Ram Nath Kovind would make an "exceptional" President and continue to be a strong voice for the poor and the marginalised communities.

Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah had earlier named Kovind, a Dalit and BJP leader, as the ruling National Democratic Alliance candidate for the July 17 presidential election.

"I am sure Kovind will make an exceptional President and continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden and marginalised," Modi tweeted.

Modi said Kovind, a farmer`s son, comes from a humble background and had devoted his life to public service and worked for the poor and marginalised. 

Kovind, 72, is likely to file his nomination on June 23. If elected, he will be a second Indian President after K.R. Narayanan from a lower caste.

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