The opposition today chose former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, a Dalit, as its candidate for president against NDA's Ram Nath Kovind.
Kumar, a former diplomat and daughter of the late Dalit icon Jagjivan Ram, was the unanimous choice of the 17 opposition parties that attended the meeting.
With Kovind also being a Dalit, this makes it a Dalit vs Dalit presidential contest.
"We have decided to field the name of Meira Kumar
for the presidential election... We do hope that other parties also join us," Congress president Sonia Gandhi said.
Her party colleague, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, said Kumar was a unanimous choice.
NCP leader Sharad Pawar proposed three names -- Kumar, former union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Rajya Sabha MP Bhalchandra Mungekar, both Dalits from Maharashtra.
CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury put forward the names of Gopalkrishna Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, and Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of B R Ambedkar.