BJP Pick For President Divides Opposition, Decision On Thursday: 10 Facts

His announcement came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Patnaik over telephone this evening.

Opposition parties have sought to keep up the suspense on extending their support and may even put up a joint candidate.

Hailing the decision, Pema said Kovind with his humble background and vast experience would make one of the best Presidents and uphold the sanctity of the highest post of the country. "A meeting will be held soon to discuss the same", he said.

He said he congratulated Kovind on his nomination.

"I had a word with Laluji and Sonia Gandhi and there will be discussion on this. I have told them about my views".

BJP's pick of Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as a presidential candidate has drawn mixed reactions across the political spectrum.

"After discussing with senior party leaders, BJD has chose to support the candidature of Ram Nath Kovind", Patnaik told reporters after receiving a telephone call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi has clearly set his eyes on 2019 in describing Kovind's nomination as empowering a Dalit farmer's son who will be a voice for the poor and downtrodden.

By choosing Kovind, the BJP intends to expand its Dalit support base in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. "So there is no question of mutual consent", senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told the media here. "I think each political party of the Opposition was given to understand that before the final decision was taken, they woud be taken in to confidence and the names would be discussed with them but that has not happened", Azad said. "Opposition will meet on 22nd June, then only we can announce our decision".

"In order to support someone, we must know the person".

Naidu was also entrusted with the responsibility of seeking support from Trinamul Congress chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to the NDA's candidate. "Somebody of Sushma's (Sushma Swaraj) or Advani's (BJP veteran LK Advani) stature should have been chosen".

Ram Nath Kovind will be the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate for the post of President.

KR Narayanan was the countrys first Dalit President.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said that if someone is trying to make a Dalit a President with the goal of gaining a vote bank then we are not with them. The Bahujan Samaj Party is threatened by the rise of a new Dalit outfit, the Bhim Army, while the BJP is attempting to moving ahead to shore up its support among the Dalits and backward classes. BJP chief Amit Shah hurled some harsh truths at Uddhav when the two met at Matoshree on Sunday. He said the BSP supremo is opposing becasue Kovind is associated with RSS ideology. He also stressed, for good measure, that Kovind was from the RSS' ranks and that makes this a direct political fight.

Nitish Kumar expressed his happiness that the Bihar Governor would be the NDA's candidate for the President elections.

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