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Kovind's pick draws mixed reactions, Mayawati frowns over RSS affiliation

20 June 2017, 04:41 | Darnell Patrick

Kovind's pick draws mixed reactions, Mayawati frowns over RSS affiliation

Prakash Ambedkar grandson of BR Ambedkar the architect of the Indian Constitution is a Maharashtrian. Here he is seen at a Dalit Swabhimaan Rally in Bengaluru in November 2016 along with CPI General Secretary Sitaram Yechury- Express

I don't want to comment on this.

I am sure Shri Ram Nath Kovind will make an exceptional President & continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden & marginalised.

Their candidate's name was only revealed after making the decision.

Second, it also means that Opposition parties will face trouble opposing his name.

Shah said most opposition leaders had been contacted and they hoped Kovind would find enough support.

A lawyer-turned-politician, NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, 71, has been a champion of rights for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs and women since his student days. The CPI's national secretary D Raja said Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu had not proposed any name in their consultations.

BSP chief Mayawati said that it would have been better if the BJP had announced a Dalit face from a non-political background while taking on the ruling party at the Centre. There are other big Dalit leaders in the country. He is likely to file his nomination on June 23. "The post of the President of India is above party politics".

BSP chief Mayawati, a Dalit leader herself, said Kovind can not be opposed unless the opposition fielded a popular Dalit nominee.

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"If someone decides to talk to us after the name is announced, we would tell them that we do not know this person".

The NCP also said the future course of action by the opposition parties will be decided in the June 22 meet.

Not to lag behind, Jagan, too, issued a statement within a short time, stating that he had received a call from Amit Shah and that the YSRC would extend support to the Dalit candidate selected by the BJP for the post of President. If they support Kovind, they will be breaking Opposition's unity, and if they oppose him, they stood the risk of being branded anti-Dalit.

On the first occasion, Sena supremo Bal Thackeray had thrown his lot behind Patil on grounds that she was the first Maharashtrian and a woman to occupy the top constitutional post.

Earlier, in Patna, Kovind said about his nomination: "It is a duty". BJP president Amit Shah made the announcement following over two-hour long meeting of the party's parliamentary board, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior party leaders.

On extending support to Kovind, she said that it would depend upon the opposition's choice of candidate. "We feel that definitely there is a need for a democratic candidate, not from hardcore of the RSS", he told PTI in Hyderabad.

The announcement was made after a almost two-hour meeting of the BJP parliamentary board attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others.



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