Ram Nath Kovind is BJP's prez candidate

Hours after the NDA picked up Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as its candidate for the post of president, BSP chief Mayawati said today that her party can not take a negative stand against a Dalit nominee.

In his testimony, Kovind told the court that he met Laxman after the Tehelka exposé was telecast and that the BJP president had said he had been "framed" in the case.

The meeting, to be chaired by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, will take a final decision on a course of action for the 17 July presidential election, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

Kumar went on to say he will soon hold a meeting with Opposition leaders over the issue of the presidential nominee.

Janata Dal (United) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed happiness that the Bihar Governor would be the NDA's candidate for the President elections.

Addressing the 51st Foundation Day function of Sena in suburban Matunga Monday evening, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said his party would not back Kovind if he had been chosen with an intention to garner dalit votes. Yechury said,"Ram Nath Kovindji RSS ke Dalit sakha ke pramukh thay, wo ek rajneeti hua na".

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) said it can not oppose the NDA candidate unless the opposition puts up a popular Dalit candidate while Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar hailed Kovind's role as state governor but remained non-committal on supporting him.

In a telephonic conversation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, TDP president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said, "You have chosen a right candidate for the top post". So, there is no question of mutual consent. "There couldnt have been a better choice", Tarun Vijay said.

Kovind comes to the highest office after earning praise from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, a political rival to the BJP, for his work as a governor. So somewhere it is a political fight or contest. "Opposition will meet on June 22, then only we can announce our decision", she added.

It's worth mentioning here that KN Tripathi, who was given additional charge of Bihar today, was earlier also given the same role from November 2014 to August 2015, when the then incumbent DY Patil, a UPA nominee, was asked to quit.

Vanessa Coleman