The BJP has finally announced its candidate for the presidential polls, and the party has projected Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as its presidential candidate. While Shiv Sena is yet to open its cards on whether it would support the BJP’s candidate, many others have expressed their support to BJP’s pick. 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.
On 8 August 2015, the President of India appointed Ram Nath Kovind the Governor of Bihar. As the governor, he was lauded for constituting a judicial commission to investigate irregularities in the promotion of undeserving teachers, mis-management of funds and appointment of undeserving candidates in universities.
Ram Nath Kovind was elected and became as Rajya Sabha MP from the state of Uttar Pradesh in April 1994. He served a total of twelve years, two consecutive terms till March 2006. As a member of Parliament, he served on the Parliamentary Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Tribes, Home Affairs., Petroleum and Natural Gas, Social Justice and Empowerment, Law and Justice. He also served as the chairman of the Rajya Sabha House Committee.
Ram Nath Kovind served as the Central Government Advocate in Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979 and served as a Central Government standing counsel in the Supreme Court from 1980 to 1993. In 1978, he became an advocate-on-record of the Supreme Court of India in 1978. He practiced in the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court for about 16 years till 1993. He was also enrolled as an advocate in 1971 with the bar council of Delhi. As an advocate he provided free legal aid to weaker sections of society, women and the poor under the Free Legal Aid Society in New Delhi.
Ram Nath Kovind joined BJP in 1991 after serving 16 years as a lawyer. He has served as the President of the BJP Dalit Morcha between 1998 and 2002 and President of the All-India Koli Samaj. He apparently donated his ancestral home in Derapur to the RSS.
Sponsoring Ram Nath Kovind's name for the post of President, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah have also reached out to the large Dalit vote base of which there are many claimants.