In an unprecedented move, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) proposed the name of Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as their candidate for the upcoming Presidential election. Notably, Kovind is a Dalit leader from Kanpur. Earlier today, the BJP Parliamentary board met to discuss the names for the election. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah and Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj Nitin Gadkari were among those in attendance.
Meanwhile, several BJP lawmakers were called to the national capital to act as signatories for the nomination papers. A total of 50 nominators and 50 seconders are required to back a candidate eligible to stand in the election.
The BJP on Sunday had stepped up its efforts to gather support for its unnamed Presidential nominee, with its top leaders talking to allies Shiv Sena and LJP as well as the Trinamool Congress and BJD, even as it disclosed that the NDA candidate will file the nomination before June 24 after the opposition is conveyed its choice.
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According to media reports, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had reiterated his pet names for the top post – RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and agro-scientist MS Swaminathan.
Since the Bihar governor is most likely to become the next President of India, we’ve brought you some interesting facts about Ram Nath Kovind:
- Born on October 1, 1945 in Kanpur Dehat, he is the current Governor of Bihar. Notably, Kovind had succeeded Keshri Nath Tripathi (Governor of West Bengal) who was holding additional charge of Bihar.
- He was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh during the two terms of 1994-2000 and 2000-2006.
- He is an advocate by profession and practices in Delhi. Ram Nath Kovind was Central Government Advocate in Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979 and Central Government Standing Counsel in Supreme Court from 1980 to 1993.
- He is a former President of the BJP Dalit Morcha (1998-2002) and President of the All-India Koli Samaj.
- He also served as national spokesperson of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
- He has been a champion of issues relating to Dalits and Backward castes. He has served in the following committees: Parliamentary Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Tribes, Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs, Parliamentary Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas, Parliamentary Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment etc.
- Ram Nath Kovind served as member of the board of management of BR Ambedkar University, Lucknow. He also served as member of board of governors of Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata. Kovind represented India in United Nations (New York) and addressed the UN General Assembly in October, 2002.