Ram Vilas invites JD(U) to join NDA

While Meira Kumar's Candidature surely takes the Presidential polls to a Dalit vs Dalit battle, it is definitely much more than that. Both Kovind and Kumar are aged 72.

Meanwhile, former Union minister S. Jaipal Reddy said that the Presidential election was not a contest between two people, but Opposition candidate Meira Kumar symbolises the pure Constitutional sprit while Mr Kovind is an anonymous person.

BSP: The Mayawati-led party, which was represented by Satish Kumar, has also chose to back Meira. Interestingly, Pawar only mentioned three probable candidates for the Presidential polls - former Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, former Bombay University vice chancellor Bhalchandra Mungerkar and Meira Kumar - at the meeting.

In her speeches, Kumar has said that the country's sustainable growth is not possible without ending the centuries-old exclusion of marginalized groups such as scheduled castes and tribes.

The RJD chief made it clear that despite JD-U's decision to back Kovind, there was no threat to the Bihar government.

"We never left him, it was he who quit the NDA", remarked BJP minister Giriraj Singh.

However, JD (U) leader Shayam Rajak said JD (U) is part of the Grand Alliance and it will not join the NDA. However, the two parties have finally chose to support Meira.

Mr. Nitish also said his decision to support the National Democratic Alliance's Presidential candidate, "would have no impact on our alliance with Lalu Yadav".

As he walked to the room of the Returning Officer, Kovind folded his hands to greet his supporters.

"Our party has always taken independent decisions on such matters. We will stick with his choice", JD (U) spokesperson Pavan Kumar Varma said.

JD (U)'s ally in Bihar, RJD has, however, backed the idea of fielding an Opposition candidate.

"We are not personally against NDA's presidential candidate. And why didn't Congress nominate her last time when it was in a position to get her elected to the highest office", Modi said. Earlier, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury put forward the name of Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of B R Ambedkar, but there were no takers.

The decision, however, was welcomed by some of the political leaders including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

TMC: The All India Trinamool Congress represented by Derek O'Brien maintained its stand with the opposition. "Kovind, in the same press meet, opposed Dalit Status for Dalit Christians", he said. But RLD chief Ajit Singh attended, making up the numbers.

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