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Ram Nath Kovind named candidate for President of India

Springing a complete surprise, the BJP on June 19 named Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, an lawyer by profession and Dalit by birth and not much known politically, as the ruling NDA's candidate for the July 17 Presidential election.

Jun 19, 2017
Springing a complete surprise, the BJP on June 19 named Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, an lawyer by profession and Dalit by birth and not much known politically, as the ruling NDA's candidate for the July 17 Presidential election.
 
"We have decided that Ram Nath Kovind will be the NDA Presidential candidate," Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah said after a nearly two-hour meeting here of the party's Parliamentary Board attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior leaders.
 
"The BJP also discussed the issue with all political parties and several sections of the society. After this, a long list (of candidates) was prepared which was discussed during the Parliamentary Board meeting," Shah said.
 
Kovind, 72, who emerged as the dark horse, is likely to file the nomination on June 23, he said. If elected, he will be the second Indian President after K.R. Narayanan to hail from the Dalit (once touchable) community, a segment of society that the ruling BJP is trying to woo for the next general election in 2019.
 
The earlier names which were doing the rounds for Presidency included External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
 
While all NDA allies have been informed of the BJP choice, Prime Minister Modi talked to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leaders about the NDA choice, the BJP President said.
 
He once headed the BJP's Dalit wing. He was a member of the Rajya Sabha for 12 years and was a member of several parliamentary panels. He had been a practising lawyer in both the High Court and the Supreme Court.

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