Pinarayi Vijayan : Ram Nath Kovind's candidature will be fought politically

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The former chief minister said BJP president Amit Shah spoke to him over phone and sought his support for the party nominee.

JDU MLA Ratnesh Sada said "The decision was taken at a meeting of our legislators ".

While the Janata Dal (United) on Wednesday, June 21, chose to support the candidature of former Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind for the post of president, the Left parties and the Congress still appear well on course to field a candidate to oppose the Dalit lawyer-politician as they see in him a man with an Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) background.

The BJP and allies have more than 60 per cent of the vote with the support of several regional parties including both factions of the AIADMK, but the opposition parties that want an election say the contest will symbolise "a battle of ideologies".

"I am sure Ram Nath Kovind, a farmer's son, will make an exceptional president & continue to be voice for poor, downtrodden, said PM Narendra Modi after the annuncement of the name of BJP Governor as NDA's Presidential candidate".

Despite wide consensus on the candidature of Kovind as next President, the Opposition, especially the Left parties, are eager to put up their own candidate against him in an "ideological battle".

Veerendrakumar had told Nitish that it is hard to support the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Ram Nath Kovind for the next President of India.

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"When the BJP leaders held talks with us on presidential nominee, they did not discuss any name".

Tyagi also credited Kovind with maintaining the high tradition of democracy during his tenure as Bihar governor. That decision was announced by Chief Minister K. Palaniswami.

Uddhav Thackeray had said that "there are attempts being made to play politics over a Dalit presidential candidate".

He added that CM Sarbananda Sonowal and parliamentary affairs minister Chandra Mohan Patowary would call for support of all MLAs of the state assembly to ensure victory for Kovind.

CPI leader D. Raja acknowledged that the JD-U move, if correct, was a setback to the opposition.

"The chief minister told us that the JD (U) will support Kovind's candidature in the presidential election as he is a good man". The Sharad Pawar-led party is still holding internal discussions to decide on its strategy for the July 17 presidential election.

President Pranab Mukherjee's term ends on July 24.

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