NEW DELHI: The BJP today announced that it has chosen Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as its candidate for President of India. Mr Kovind, 72, was named Governor of Bihar by the centre three years ago. He is a former leader of the BJP’s Dalit wing and was a member of the Rajya Sabha for 12 years. He is a trained lawyer who has appeared at the High Court and Supreme Court.
BJP chief Amit Shah said that Governor Kovind, who is expected to travel to Delhi shortly, “comes from a Dalit family and has struggled a lot. We hope he will be the unanimous candidate for the election.”
To win over the opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has personally spoken to Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and his predecessor, Dr Manmohan Singh, as also to the Chief Ministers of Bihar, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. All allies of the BJP have also been informed of its decision, said Mr Shah.
With the support of regional parties like the TRS of Telangana and the AIADMK of Tamil Nadu, the BJP should be easily able to get Governor Kovind elected if the opposition decides to put up its own candidate.
During his term in Bihar, Governor Kovind has run into no controversy with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.