Someone of Swaraj or Advani's stature should have been Presidential nominee: Mamata


Banerjee said senior BJP leaders LK Advani or Sushma Swaraj could have been made candidates. "Shah sought the Sena's support for Ram Nath Kovind", Raut told reporters here.

Naidu said Kovind is a veteran politician with grass roots experience and deep understanding of Indian society besides being a senior lawyer with a thorough understanding of Indian State and theConstitution of India. He also pointed out that Kovind, a farmer's son, comes from a humble background.

The Prime Minister said that Kovind will make an exceptional President and continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden and marginalised.

The nomination of Kovind, a Dalit leader, by the Bharatiya Janata Party appeared to have put the opposition in a quandary as the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) said it can not oppose the NDA candidate unless the opposition puts up a popular Dalit candidate. "But now that they have named a Dalit leader, the equations are altogether different now", the source added.

BSP chief Mayawati said she is not satisfied with Ram Nath Kovind's political ideology, but can not reject his Dalit background. His father was a farmer. Kovind holds an LLB from Kanpur University. He was personal secretary to Prime Minister Morarji Desai during the Janata government in 1977.

He had practised law in both High Court and the Supreme Court. He was enrolled as an advocate in 1971 with the Bar Council of Delhi.

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The recent three-day tour of the state by BJP national chief Amit Shah saw a slanging match between TRS and BJP and KCR lashed out at Shah.

The BJP formed a panel for parleys with the Opposition as Sonia constituted a sub-group of the opposition parties for the Presidential election to create troubled waters for the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the country's coveted post.

He was also the president of the All-India Koli Samaj.

Led by the Congress, the Opposition parties, which hesitated to question Kovind's credentials, will now meet on June 22 to chalk out a strategy. During his parliamentary tenure of 12 years, he emphasized on the development of basic infrastructure for education in rural areas by helping in const. As an MP, Kovind emphasised on the development of basic infrastructure for education in rural areas and helped in construction of school buildings under the MPLAD scheme.

He went on to work as Private Secretary to Morarji Desai, the then Prime Minister of India, besides representing India in the United Nations in NY. He is known for his work in the field of education.