Presidential election: Meet Ram Nath Kovind, a crusader for the Dalit cause

Ram Nath Kovind, NDA's presidential candidate

BJP chooses Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as presidential candidate

Latest news : Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has only good words for the governor of his state, Ram Nath Kovind. On Monday, soon after Kovind was selected by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to be its presidential candidate, Kumar said he had done “exemplary work” in Bihar.

 

The 71-year-old Dalit leader from Uttar Pradesh was appointed Bihar governor in 2015. His official profile describes him as a crusader for the “rights and causes of the weaker sections of society, especially Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes/OBC/minority…” Kovind is most likely to be elected President without much of a fight. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance has nearly 50 per cent of the electoral college. If elected, he would be the second Dalit occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan, after K R Narayanan, who was President from 1997 to 2002.

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A loyal soldier of BJP, Kovind has never disagreed with the party leadership. It isn’t clear when he joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, but party sources said he had been closely associated with affiliated organisations, particularly those working among Dalits.

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