In the run-up to the Presidential elections scheduled to be held on July 17, the BJP on Monday conducted a meeting of its board members in New Delhi. As announced by BJP President Amit Shah, Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind has been decided as BJP’s Presidential candidate.
The final decision on the nominee was taken on Monday after a parliamentary board meeting which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah, including Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Ananth Kumar, M Venkaiah Naidu and several top leaders.
The decision came in a surprise turn of events. Several names like that of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj came up and were doing the rounds but the BJP proposed the name of Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, 70-year-old, as their candidate for the upcoming Presidential election.
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Kovind, born on 1st October 1945 in Kanpur, was elected to Rajya Sabha from the state of Uttar Pradesh during the two terms of 1994-2000 and 2000-2006. He not only served as national spokesperson for the party but has also been a former President of the BJP Dalit Morcha and All India Koli Samaj. He was enrolled as an advocate in 1971 with the Bar Council of Delhi. Afterwards, he was Central Government Advocate in Delhi High Court from 1977-1979. He had practised in Delhi High Court and Supreme Court for about 16 years till 1993. In April 1994, he became a Rajya Sabha MP from UP and served for two consecutive terms. During his parliamentary tenure, he emphasised the development of basic infrastructure for education in rural areas. He also helped in the construction of school buildings in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Currently, he is known to be a Dalit leader, who has been serving as Governor of Bihar since the beginning of Modi’s tenure.
Notably, the first Dalit President in India was K R Narayan and if Ram Nath Kovind gets elected, he will be the second one in the chain.