Kovind will make exceptional President: Narendra Modi

Ram Nath Kovind will make an exceptional president and continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden and marginalised, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday. His remarks came hours after the BJP Parliamentary Board declared Bihar Governor Kovind as the NDA’s choice for President.
Kovind will make exceptional President: Narendra Modi
Ram Nath Kovind with PM Narendra Modi

New Delhi

“I am sure Shri Ram Nath Kovind will make an exceptional President & continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden & marginalised,” the prime minister tweeted. 
He said with an illustrious background in the legal arena, Kovind’s knowledge and understanding of the Constitution will benefit the nation. Modi pointed out that Kovind, a farmer’s son, comes from a humble background. “He devoted his life to public service & worked for poor & marginalised,” he said in another tweet. 
Extending full support to Kovind, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, said his choice is a political masterstroke by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “This is an historic decision. The Opposition should support the NDA candidate..., If they don’t support, it would mean they are anti-dalits,” Paswan said. 
Meanwhile, NDA ally Shiv Sena will hold a meeting of party leaders to decide on supporting Kovind, party MP Sanjay Raut said on Monday.
Oppn to choose consensus nominee
Opposition parties will meet on June 22 to decide on fielding a consensus candidate for the presidential election, Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal said. “The parties will meet and decide whether or not to field a consensus opposition candidate for the July 17 presidential election,” he said. 
However, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday showered praise on Governor Ram Nath Kovind, saying he is “personally glad” over his candidature. But, he was non-committal on whether his Janata Dal-United (JD-U) will support Kovind. 
“It is difficult to say at this point of time. I had talks with RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Congress President Sonia Gandhi on this issue. We will discuss the issue later and decide, “he said. 
Bolt from the blue, says Mamata
Expressing surprise at the BJP’s choice as the NDA’s presidential candidate, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday claimed she has never heard of the nominee and termed it a “not so mature” move. 
“I have not heard his name ever before. I do not know him. I could recognise him only after he was mentioned as the Bihar Governor. I can say that I am surprised by the decision,” Banerjee said in Dubai en route the Netherlands to address a United Nations’ event.
“His name did not come during our discussion. We gave a consensus proposal as the President is a very important portfolio. This name is like a bolt from the blue. This is not a very mature decision,” she said. 
Terming the President’s role as pivotal in protecting the nation and its Constitution, Banerjee argued that someone who is a seasoned expert in the subject should have been chosen instead.

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