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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has backed National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) Presidential nominee Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind and has said that with his illustrious background in the legal arena, the latter's knowledge and understanding of the Constitution would benefit the nation.
Prime Minister Modi on Monday took to Twitter and, in a series of tweets, said, "Shri Ram Nath Kovind, a farmer's son, comes from a humble background. He devoted his life to public service & worked for poor and marginalised. With his illustrious background in the legal arena, Shri Kovind's knowledge and understanding of the Constitution will benefit the nation. I am sure Shri Ram Nath Kovind will make an exceptional President & continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden and marginalised."
The announcement was made in a press briefing by BJP national president Amit Shah.
Shah further said that the saffron party hoped that the Dalit nominee, Kovind, would remain unchallenged as the choice and would be unanimously selected as the President of India.
Shah also informed that the BJP leaders have talked to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who told them that they would hold discussions over the Presidential nominee and proceed further.
The parliamentary board of the BJP met here today to discuss the upcoming Presidential election.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari and Venkaiah Naidu and other senior party leaders deliberated on the names for the top constitutional post.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Naidu had earlier met Communist Party of India (CPI) leaders D Raja and Sudhakar Reddy at the latter's party office over presidential elections.
Naidu also spoke to Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav and Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders Ram Gopal Yadav and Naresh Agrawal over phone and met Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and senior Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Satish Chandra Mishra in this regard.
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.
Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge, JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury, TMC leader Derek O'Brien, Samajwadi Party's Ram Gopal Yadav, BSP's Satish Chandra Mishra, DMK leader R S Bharathi and NCP's Praful Patel are part of the sub-group.
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 25.
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.