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Kovind quits as Bihar Governor
20 June 2017, 05:34 | Ross Houston
Raut reiterated that the Shiv Sena was keen on the candidature of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat or eminent agro-scientist MS Swaminathan for the President's post.
"The Congress has always taken the initiative to improve the condition of the Dalits even before the country got Independence. Opposition will meet on June 22, then only we can announce our decision", she added. "We will openly support".
Modi said Kovind would make an "exceptional" President and called him a strong voice for the poor and the marginalised communities. "This is a straight political tussle", he said.
The BJP-led NDA (including Sena) has total of 52 MPs. This seems a little impossible.
NDA ally Shiv Sena on Monday said party chief Uddhav Thackeray will convene a meeting of Sena leaders to decide on supporting the ruling alliance's choice for president.
At a time when the country was reeling from the effects of the demonetisation announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the various politicians of the nation were divided in their views on demonetisation.
A BJD MP said there could not have been a scenario when the BJD would support a Congress candidate given the fact that the regional party thrived on anti-Congress planks all these years. "A chaiwala (tea seller) Prime Minister and a Dalit President - that's the dream".
TMC's Chief National Spokesperson Derek O'Brian also took a jab at the NDA and mocked Kovind's virtually unknown status. "He is a Dalit leader and we hope he will continue work for the backward section of the society", he said.
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President Pranab Mukherjee has accepted the resignation, a communiqué issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan said on June 20.
The decision, however, was welcomed by some of the political leaders including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
Kanpur-born former lawyer Ram Nath Kovind (71), a Dalit leader, is known for his organisational skills and is a loyal member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
As to whether the JD-U will support his candidature, Nitish Kumar said: "It is hard to say at this point of time".
"Asked to comment on the BJP fielding a Dalit candidate for the top constitutional post, Azad said, "...
There were speculations that the BJP could choose from probables like external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu as its presidential nominee.
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Both sides acknowledged the clock was ticking, with the date for the UK's departure from the European Union fixed for March 2019. We also agreed on how we will structure our talks. "It's not when it starts it's how it finishes that matters", he said.