Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind is Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s face for the next presidential election said party president Amit Shah after an hour long Parliamentary Board meeting on Monday.
The meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had all the senior party leaders Amit Shah, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu and Sushma Swaraj on the panel.
Confirming National Democratic Alliance (NDA)’s candidate, Amit Shah in a press conference said that the party has unanimously decided to elect Ram Nath Kovind as their nominee.
Hailing, Ram Nath Kovind for his work for the marginalised and poorer section of the society, Shah said that PM Modi has already had a word with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh and informed about their nominee for the president post.
Meanwhile, Andra Pradesh and Telangana CM’s Chandrababu Naidu and KC Rao have extended their willingness to support BJP’s candidate Kovind for the presidential election.
Born in October 1945, Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind is a Dalit leader and a BJP politician. Advocate by profession, Ram Nath Kovind was elected to Rajya Sabha from the state of Uttar Pradesh during the two terms of 1994-2000 and 2000-2006.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has skipped Parliamentary Board meet following an injury.
Here are the highlights of the meeting:
01: 50 PM IST | Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind NDA’s face for the next presidential election.
01: 00 PM IST| BJP Parliamentary Board meeting ends.
12: 50 PM IST | Home Minister Rajnath Singh has skipped Parliamentary Board meet following an injury.
12: 48 PM IST | BJP aims to get to a consensus and pitch the name to its allies in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. Moreover, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi scheduled to leave for the US on June 26 followed by Netherlands on June 27, BJP wants to have a name well in advance to try to bring the opposition on board.
12: 30 PM IST| BJP Parliamentary Board meeting under starts. The top party leaders are expected to filter a name for the top post as President Pranab Mukherjee’s term will come to an end in July.
12: 25 PM IST | Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at the BJP party Head Quarters. With almost all the leaders in the panel already inside the building in the capital, the meeting will start shortly.
12: 18 PM IST | Earlier this week BJP reached out to the opposition for the presidential elections with senior leaders Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley trying to get the opposition board.
Naidu and Rajnath Singh also spoke in person with Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence in the capital.
12: 10 PM IST | Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Information and Broadcasting in the Modi minister Venkaiah Naidu have also arrived at the party Head Quarters in the capital. BJP Parliamentary Board meeting to begin soon.
12: 05 AM IST | Meanwhile, BJP party president Amit Shah on Sunday met Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai to come to a consensus for the candidate who seems to be in no mood to alter his aggressive stance on the issue of the Presidential polls.
Apparently, Shiv Sena President Thackeray reiterating the old tune once again pitched the names of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and agro-scientist MS Swaminathan for the top post. BJP has remained non-committal to the names though it has said it is open to discussions.
Thackeray is also understood to have informed Shah that the BJP must announce first its candidate for The Presidency before his party can take a decision on whether to support the nominee.
11: 55 AM IST | Tight-lipped so far, BJP will have to find a replacement to succeed President Pranab Mukherjee. With numbers already with BJP, the challenge for the Modi government is to find a name which can successfully fight the opposition set in tone to oppose and fight the election on 17 July 2017, five days before the incumbent of current President’s term expires.
11: 45 AM IST | BJP President Amit Shah has arrived at the party Headquarters for the Parliamentary Board meeting scheduled to narrow down on the presidential candidate to replace Pranab Mukherjee.
11: 30 AM IST | With the race to Raisina Hill narrowing down, names of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu have also been making rounds among the top NDA contender for the job.