In a surprise turn of events, the Bharatiya Janata Party proposed the name of Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as their candidate for the upcoming Presidential election. Seventy-one-year-old Kovind is a Dalit leader from Kanpur. He was previously elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh. Kovind used to practice as a Supreme Court lawyer.
Reacting to the development, NDA ally at the Centre, Shiv Sena said the BJP should have consulted its allies before naming the candidate. Sena MP Sanjay Raut, speaking with news channel NDTV, said: “You made a three-member committee, Amit Shah has met other leaders, then what is the point in all this… They (BJP) have the complete freedom to choose the candidate, it is the biggest party, they lead the NDA, we have trust in the prime minister… BJP should have discussed the name with all the NDA constituents.”
The party’s parliamentary board met on Monday to discuss the names for the election. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the meeting, and BJP national president Amit Shah and Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj Nitin Gadkari were among those in attendance.
Earlier, the party constituted a three-member team to pick a candidate for the election. Venkaiah Naidu and Rajnath Singh, who are part of the team, met Opposition leaders to discuss the issue. The BJP has also reached out to their ally at the ...