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The entire Opposition is up in arms against the Centre after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government's nominee for the upcoming presidential elections.
Not only the Opposition; Shiv Sena, an ally of the NDA, also alleged that Kovind's name was not discussed with the allies.
Prime Minister Modi also spoke to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswamy over NDA's presidential candidate pick.
Telangana Chief Minister and TRS Chief K Chandrasekhar Rao extended his support to NDA's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind after speaking to PM Modi.
The Prime Minister said that Kovind will make an exceptional President and continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden and marginalised.
Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts, the main Opposition parties continued to fume.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the BJP had assured that it would inform the Congress about its Presidential candidate in advance for a consensus but now they informed us after taking the decision.
"The Centre apprised the senior leaders, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh about the announcement over phone after taking the decision. So there is no question of mutual consent. We didn't expect this from them," said Azad.
He further said that the grand old party would not comment on NDA's Presidential nominee as of now and would meet on June 22 to formally discuss the matter.
. Janata Dal (United):
JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed happiness that the Bihar Governor would be the NDA's candidate for the President elections. He, however, said a detailed discussion would be held on the matter within the JD (U).
He was speaking to the media here after congratulating Kovind. Nitish also said that "I had a word with Laluji and Sonia Gandhi and there will be discussion on this. I have told them about my views".
. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP):
BSP chief Mayawati said she is not satisfied with Ram Nath Kovind's political ideology, but cannot reject his Dalit background.
Mayawati told ANI that it could have been better if BJP would have selected a name from a non-political background.
The BSP leader further added that she would wait and watch if Opposition announces a Dalit candidate as well.
. Communist Party of India (Marxist):
The CPI (M) said the way Kovind's name was announced it portends that there would be a political contest.
Yechury said, "Kovind ji was the chief of RSS's Dalit branch. So somewhere it is a political fight or contest. When Home Minister Rajnath Singh and I&B minister Venkaiah Naidu came to meet us, they said that they want to build a consensus. When we asked on whom they want to build consensus, they had no answer then. They said that when they decide, they will come back to us with a proposal. But instead of coming to us with the proposal they announced the candidate. Now we will take a call."
. Trinamool Congress(TMC):
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee didn't seem happy with the Kovind's candidature. She said that someone of the stature of President Pranab Mukherjee, or even Sushma Swaraj or Advani ji may have been made the candidate.
"I am not saying that the Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind is unfit to be the President. There are other big Dalit leaders in the country. Just because he was the leader of Dalit Morcha of BJP they have made him the candidate," Mamata said.
The election for the next President of India is to be held on July 17 as President Pranab Mukherjee will demit the office on July 24.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) issued the notification in this regard and the process of the nomination has started that will continue till June 28.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)