On extending support to Kovind, Mayawati said that it would depend upon the opposition's choice of candidate. Photograph: (AFP)
Stumped by Modi-Shah's presidential choice as BJP announced the name of UP-born Ram Nath Kovind, the opposition led by BSP chief Mayawati was quick to react, insisting she does not agree with the politics from which Kovind comes referring to his 'RSS credentials'.
BSP chief Mayawati said that it would have been better if the BJP had announced a Dalit face from a non-political background while taking on the ruling party at the Centre.
On extending support to Kovind, she said that it would depend upon the opposition's choice of candidate.
We are also of the opinion that it would have been better if NDA had named some non political Dalit person as President nominee:Mayawati— ANI (@ANI_news) June 19, 2017
Despite expressing her support for National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Presidential nominee Bihar Governor Ramnath Kovind, Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati on Monday said the Centre should have taken all Opposition parties in 'good faith' (WION)
Sitaram Yechury, CPM general secretary said that Ram Nath Kovind headed the Dalit wing of the RSS and by announcing his name, the BJP has made the presidential election a political fight.
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the BJP members had told them that they would inform the name of the candidate before announcing the name but they failed to do it.
BJP leaders when they met us said will inform you before any announcement for a consensus,but they informed after decision:GN Azad,Cong— ANI (@ANI_news) June 19, 2017
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee focused on the political background of Ram Nath Kovind tweeting: "There are other big Dalit leaders in India. He( #RamNathKovind) was the leader of the Dalit morcha of the BJP, so they have made him a candidate."
There are other big Dalit leaders in India. He( #RamNathKovind) was leader of Dalit Morcha of BJP, so they have made him candidate: WB CM— ANI (@ANI_news) June 19, 2017
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who met the Bihar governor after his name was announced by the BJP parliamentary board meeting, said that it was a "matter of happiness" for him. On supporting Kovind, the Bihar chief minister was clearly evasive saying "it is too early to comment".
Matter of happiness for me personally. As far as support is concerned, can't say anything right now. it is too early to say: Nitish Kumar. pic.twitter.com/EmccQ2krPl— ANI (@ANI_news) June 19, 2017
BJP's ally and NDA constituent Shiv Sena, which has been at loggerheads with the BJP in Maharashtra, said that the party will decide on the issue in a few days. Uddhav Thackeray said that if someone is trying to make a Dalit a President with the purpose of gaining a vote bank then the party will not support such a decision.
The opposition was stumped by the choice of BJP's Presidential candidate