Opposition may field joint candidate against Ram Nath Kovind. 4 names in the Presidential race


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) picked Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as NDA’s President nominee. However, the Opposition may not support him. While parties like Mayawati’s BSP and Mamata Banerjee’s TMC are confused over their next step, insiders in Left parties said that the Opposition may field a joint candidate to contest against Kovind.

Opposition parties are likely to meet and finalise a name on June 22. Sources said the Congress-led Opposition has shortlisted four names.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  1. Former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, former Union Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, BR Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Yashwant Ambedkar, and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson and former bureaucrat Gopal Krishna Gandhi are said to be the frontrunners.
  2. The Opposition is of the view that the BJP’s decision to field a Dalit leader for President must be challenged and that it should also announce a Dalit name to contest Presidential election.

  3. BJP chief Amit Shah hoped that there will be a consensus on Ram Nath Kovind’s name.

  4. However, the Congress spurned the BJP’s appeal for consensus on its choice and said the Opposition would take a call on contesting the election after a meeting on June 22.

  5. “Congress does not want to comment on this issue as we want to take a unanimous decision with all other opposition parties on the presidential elections. The final call will be taken in a meeting of all opposition parties on June 22,” Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad told reporters.

  6. Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee said he was nominated only because he had been a leader of the BJP’s Dalit Morcha in the past.

  7. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the BJP ‘unilaterally’ selected Kovind and the non-NDA parties will take the decision ‘keeping in mind the country’s history that the ruling and opposition parties contested the polls on all occasion except once. ‘

  8. On the other hand, the BJP has issues of its own. While some allies like the TRS and TDP have announced their support to Kovind, Shiv Sena has kept the ruling party on tenterhooks.

  9. “If the name of Kovind is being put forward with a view to garner dalit votes then the Sena is not interested. Sena has never indulged in the politics of hiding behind someone,” party chief Uddhav Thackeray said.

  10. Sena had earlier rooted for the candidature of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Hindutva line and later proposed the name of veteran agriculturist MS Swaminathan for the top post.

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