ALSO READMeira Kumar seeks support of TN MLAs, MPs in Prez poll Opposition picks Meira Kumar as Presidential candidate Opposition parties to meet Thursday, Meira Kumar could be candidate Oppn too plumps for dalit face, chooses Meira as Prez nominee Presidential elections a fight of ideology: Oppn nominee Meira Kumar
Irrespective of the outcome of the Presidential election in which former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar is pitted against NDA's candidate Ram Nath Kovind, Kanpur may get its moment of glory. While Kovind hails from Kalyanpur in Kanpur, Kumar's close relatives are also based in the district. During her recent visit to Lucknow, Kumar had said she always felt happy, whenever she came to UP. Kovind, the 71-year-old BJP veteran, rose from a modest background to become the Governor of Bihar, and is now, in all likelihood, set to occupy the country's highest constitutional office. Associates and neighbours in Maharishi Dayanand Vihar (in Kalyanpur) remember Kovind as a simple, soft-spoken person. "He comes from a modest background and has achieved heights by his sheer hard work and dedication... He did LLB and had also appeared for the civil services exam but had to opt out due to medical reasons," Ashok Trivedi, who served as the two-time MP's PRO from 1996 to 2008, said. According to Trivedi, Kovind is a man of simple taste. "He likes simple food and is not very fond of sweets. He has stayed in touch with all of us.
He last visited my home in 2012 after coming to know of my wife's death," Trivedi recalled. The presidential nominee along with his wife Savita visited this colony almost one-and-a-half month back. Kusuma Rathore, in her sixties, has been the caretaker of Kovind's modest mini-HIG house for the past 15 years. As per Rathore, till only a few years back, the house was a bit secluded. So much so that it was burgled thrice, the caretaker said. Next door neighbour Devendra Juneja is a long time associate who went to the 'RSS shakha' with Kovind. Prior to Kovind and Meira Kumar, another resident of Kanpur -- Lakshmi Sahgal (once associated with the Azad Hind Fauj of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose) also contested the presidential election. In 2002, the Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Revolutionary Socialist Party, and All India Forward Bloc nominated Sahgal as a candidate against APJ Abdul Kalam.
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