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Gehlot suggests Kovind President because of caste, then backtracks

Press Trust of India  |  Jaipur/New Delhi 

Chief Minister Wednesday suggested that the NDA picked over L K Advani as its nominee for the President's post because of his caste, prompting a sharp response from the BJP.

Under flak, Gehlot later tweeted that he was misquoted and said he has the greatest regard for Kovind.

At a press conference in Jaipur, Gehlot had linked Kovind's appointment as to the polls.

"People even say that was made considering assembly elections in 2017, Gehlot said.

I was reading an article. He (Narendra Modi) was afraid that he was not going to form the government in might have given him the suggestion after which it was decided to make the President," the said.

"Advani was left out though he was to become the President. People of the country had the expectation that he will get the honour that he deserved but was deprived of, Gehlot said.

Though it is the BJP's internal issue, I am discussing it because I read an article," the chief minister added.

Kovind was the NDA's nomination for the President's post and took oath in July 2017, a few months before the Gujarat assembly polls, which were won by the BJP.

Reacting to the televised remark, the demanded an apology from Gehlot and urged the to take action against him.

"It is very unfortunate that Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, a senior who himself is on a constitutional post, made a casteist remark against the President, who is the of the Constitution," BJP G V L told reporters.

He said the remark showed the "anti-Dalit" mindset of the

Later, Gehlot claimed he was misquoted.

"It is very unfortunate that my comments during PC have been misquoted by few I have the greatest regards for the President of India, and personally for Sh. whom I have met in person and highly impressed with his simplicity and humbleness," he tweeted.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, April 17 2019. 18:05 IST