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Why the BJP Picked Ram Nath Kovind for Rashtrapati Bhavan

The BJP sprung a surprise on Monday when it announced Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as its pick for the presidential elections on July 17.

News18.com

Updated:June 19, 2017, 4:02 PM IST
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Why the BJP Picked Ram Nath Kovind for Rashtrapati Bhavan
Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind is the NDA’s nominee for upcoming presidential elections.(Image credits/governor.bih.nic.in)
New Delhi: The BJP sprung a surprise on Monday when it announced Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as its pick for the presidential elections on July 17.

Kovind became a Rajya Sabha MP in April 1994 from Uttar Pradesh and served for two consecutive terms for 12 years till March 2006. He has served as a member in many important Parliamentary committees, including those on welfare of scheduled castes/tribes, home affairs, petroleum and natural gas, social justice and empowerment and law and justice. He was also chairman of Rajya Sabha House Committee.

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As a Dalit and a non-controversial face, Kovind is the BJP’s best bet to get opposition parties on board. He belongs to the Dalit community Koli and has worked extensively in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar before being elevated as Bihar Governor.

He had earlier headed the party’s Dalit base and groomed several leaders from the BJP and the RSS for bigger roles. He was once the BJP’s choice to counter BSP chief Mayawati’s caste politics in Uttar Pradesh.

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Another aspect that may have worked in Kovind’s favour is his perceived closeness to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

As Kovind seems set to occupy the highest constitutional post in the country, his experience as Bihar Governor will come in handy.

ALSO READ | Why the BJP Picked Ram Nath Kovind for Rashtrapati Bhavan

Kovind’s nomination was announced by BJP chief Amit Shah after a nearly two-hour meeting of the party’s Parliamentary Board on Monday morning. Kovind is likely to file the nomination papers on June 23. Shah said political parties had been informed of the choice. "I hope all will agree to the name," he said at a press conference.
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