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BJP names Ram Nath Kovind as NDA Presidential candidate

Newdelhi:19/6/17;Springing a surprise, the BJP on Monday named Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit and a BJP leader, as the ruling NDA’s candidate for the July 17 Presidential election.

“We have decided that Ram Nath Kovind will be the NDA Presidential candidate,” Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah said after a nearly two-hour meeting here of the party’s Parliamentary Board attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior leaders.

He said the BJP and the National Democratic Alliance had been discussing the Presidential election for long.

“The BJP also discussed the issue with all political parties and several sections of the society. After this, a long list (of candidates) was prepared which was discussed during the Parliamentary Board meeting,” Shah told the media.

Kovind, 72, who emerged as the dark horse, is likely to file the nomination on June 23, he said. If elected, he will be the second Indian President after K.R. Narayanan to hail from the Dalit community.

The earlier names which were doing the rounds for Presidency included External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

While all NDA allies have been informed of the BJP choice, Prime Minister Modi talked to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leaders about the NDA choice, the BJP President said.

Modi also spoke with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (JD-U), Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik (BJD), Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao (TRS) and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu (TDP).

Senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu spoke to party veterans L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.

“Ram Nath comes from a Dalit family and has struggled a lot. We hope he will be the unanimous candidate for the election,” Shah said.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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