Ram Nath Kovind never said he follows BJP's ideology: Congress

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday welcomed Shiv Sena for its support to National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind.

The 71-year-old low profile Dalit leader, a two-term BJP Rajya Sabha member, is seen as an astute choice by the saffron party, which has been targeted by opposition parties over Dalit issues, and his election is nearly a certainty as the ruling bloc with the support of some regional parties enjoys a majority in the electoral college.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray announced his party's support for Kovind after an internal meeting of the party's leaders at his residence, Matoshree, Bandra.

She said that someone of the stature of President Pranab Mukherjee or even External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj or BJP veteran L.K. Advani may have been made the candidate. And instead prefer a candidate who has worked under them at some point or the other, and hence remains beholden for the post. Also on Tuesday, Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav described Kovind as "a wonderful choice".

Bhubaneswar: BJD MP Tathagata Satpathy has once again stirred a political storm by questioning party's decision to extend support to NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind for the President's post in public forum. "But Kovind never said that he follows BJP's ideology, hence it is not about supporting any person, it s about supporting a person's ideology", Azad said. "In turn, I suggested him two names which he said the BJP will consider", Thackeray said referring to Shah's meeting with him on Sunday.

Attempting to put the BJP in a spot, the Sena was originally insisting on two different names.

He said they believe that there should be no politics on caste lines.

First, let me clear that yes, I totally agree that this is a political decision by BJP.

The Left parties are keen on the opposition putting up a candidate because they see the Presidential election as an "ideological battle" and the NDA candidate as an RSS-backed man. Ahead of the Opposition meet scheduled on 22nd June, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and BSP supremo Mayawati have given positive signals for Ram Nath's candidature.

The Bihar BJP leader also said about "11-12 Bihar MLA proposers have already come up". He will be filing his nomination on June 23.

These include former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar; BR Ambedkar's grandson and Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar; former Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, and Mahatma Gandhi's grandson and scholar Gopalkrishna Gandhi. "Yes, we are certainly going to have a candidate". When we asked on whom they want to build consensus, they had no answer then. "So, of these, who is more acceptable to most of the parties will be decided", Reddy told PTI in Hyderabad, The CPI leader said their opposition is not individually to Kovind, but on principles.

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