While the BJP-led NDA has nominated Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as the potential candidate for the next President of India, the Shiv Sena and the Opposition remain wary of a candidate who has “come out of nowhere”, sources observed.
Kovind hails from a Dalit family, but is seen as a staunch supporter of the BJP. He had completed his studies in Kanpur, and took the UPSC exam. However, he did not pursue the position as it did not fall in the three main categories, recalled Ram Swaroop. Kovind had joined the BJP in 1977, while he continued practicing law.
As soon as the candidate was finalized by the ruling party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “I am sure Shri Ram Nath Kovind will make an exceptional President & continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden & marginalised,”
The next President – who is elected on July 17 – would have the responsibility of swearing-in the Prime Minister of India after the Lok Sabha elections happen in 2019, and, as such, the choice of the ruling party is being closely watched.
“History will come full circle as after Modi-ji, one of our own, the former president of our Dalit morcha, will take the top Constitutional job. This to date will be the biggest achievement of the Sangh” media reports quoted a BJP party secretary as saying, who wished to remain anonymous.
On the other hand, the Opposition is weighing behind Ex-LS speaker Meira Kumar, along with Gopal Krishna Gandhi – the Mahatma’s grandson. A third choice seems to be Dr B RAmbedkar’s grandson Prakash Yashwant.