New Delhi: There couldn't have been a bigger and better master stroke by the BJP. Ram Nath Kovind is a big surprise as BJP's choice for a Presidential candidate. And various political parties are reacting to this in various ways.
Springing a surprise, the BJP on Monday named Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit and a BJP leader, 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.
He said the BJP and the National Democratic Alliance had been discussing the Presidential election for long.
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 community.
Since he belongs to Dalit community, it will be difficult for political parties to deny support to him.
Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao, Tamil Nadu CM E Palaniswamy have already given their support to Kovind for his candidature.
PM Modi has also spoken to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu and others seeking support.Nitish Kumar has welcomed BJP's choice.
Congress is not opening its cards at present.