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Presidential pick Kovind gives perfect prelude to PM Modi's Lucknow sojourn

Projecting Kovind as Presidential nominee could calm Dalits' tempers in some western UP districts

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

Narenda Modi, Amit Shah, Ram Nath Kovind
Prime Minister Narenda Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah with NDA's Presidential nominee and Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind in New Delhi.

Naming Bihar Governor as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP's) official nominee for the July 17 Presidential poll has provided a perfect prelude to amplify the impact of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two-day visit to starting today.

Modi’s whirlwind tour blends the intrinsic symbolism as espoused by the and the saffron brigade in its outreach to the downtrodden, traditional Indian wisdom of Yoga, promoting scientific research, wooing minorities and the poor, apart from subtly signifying the vitality of Uttar Pradesh (UP) in the larger scheme of things for the

accounts for the maximum number of 80 Member of Parliaments (MP) and has a large stake for the in run to the 2019 Lok Sabha poll and Modi seeking re-election.

Since, Kovind hails from Kanpur and belongs to the Scheduled Caste (SC) community, his candidature a day before Modi’s visit would entrench the party’s ongoing efforts to woo Dalits, which have erstwhile been committed voters of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

The decision to project Kovind as the next President candidate is also to aimed at calming the tempers among the Dalits in some western districts, which had recently been witness to violent caste conflicts.

After his arrival on Tuesday evening, PM Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the new campus of APJ Abdul Kalam Azad Technical University (AKTU), which has been named after the former President of India. Kalam was the presidential pick of then Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led Democratic Alliance regime in 1998-2004 and he was elected unopposed.

The inauguration of the campus would present an opportunity for the to reaffirm its stated commitment of taking all communities along under its catchphrase of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’.

Besides, Modi would visit the new campus of the Central Drugs Research Institute (CDRI) on the outskirts of CDRI is the lab of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and this is touted to be Modi’s first visit to such a lab in the country. This would portray his priority towards indigenous scientific advancement in the country.

Modi is further scheduled to hand over keys of houses to beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), which would offer an important optic to supplant his regime as a pro-poor dispensation.

Later evening, he would break bread with Chief Minister at the latter’s official residence. Modi would stay put at Raj Bhawan for the night stay.

Tomorrow morning, Modi would partake in a large congregation of about 50,000 people on the occasion of the 3rd International Yoga Day programmes, where he would perform Yoga with CM Adityanath.

After coming to power, Modi has promoted Yoga on the international stage as a tool to create awareness towards the traditional Indian wisdom that combines spiritualism and medicinal benefits even in the face of opposition from some quarters. Modi would fly back to New Delhi soon thereafter.

First Published: Tue, June 20 2017. 18:34 IST