Cracks in Opposition over BJP's choice for president? After Nitish, Mulayam praises Ram Nath Kovind

In yet another indication of growing fissures in the opposition rank over BJP's choice for the country's highest constitutional post, Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav has now heaped praise on BJP's presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind.

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: Jun 20, 2017, 17:03 PM IST
Cracks in Opposition over BJP's choice for president? After Nitish, Mulayam praises Ram Nath Kovind

Lucknow: In yet another indication of growing fissures in the opposition ranks over BJP's choice for the country's highest constitutional post, Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav has now heaped praise on BJP's presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind.

Talking to reporters, the veteran Socialist leader said, ''BJP has given a good candidate.''

Talking about his good equation with the BJP presidential pick, Mulayam said, ''I have very old relations with him.''

The SP patron also expressed confidence that the ruling BJP will not face much difficulty in sending Kovind to the Rashtrapati Bhawan. 

BJP has majority, if 1% or say 5% votes are required then BJP can manage it, he said.

When asked about what will be the Opposition's strategy to counter BJP in the presidential election, Mulayam said, ''I can't say what will Opposition decide.''

:Notably, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had on Monday lauded Ramnath Kovind, saying the latter has done an exceptional job as the Governor of the Janata-Dal-United-ruled state.

Talking to reporters, Bihar CM said, ''He has done exemplary work as Governor of Bihar, he worked with impartiality and maintained an ideal relationship with the state govt.''

It's a matter of happiness for me personally, he told reporters.

However, the Bihar CM stopped short of announcing his support to Kovind, whoo was hand-picked by a high-powered committee including BJP chief Amit Shah, PM Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj,    Rajnath Singh, Ananth Kumar, M Venkaiah Naidu and several top leaders.

As far as support is concerned, I can't say anything right now. it is too early to say, Nitish Kumar said.

Opposition parties have called a meeting on June 22 to take a decision on the issue.

The final decision on the presidential nominee was taken at the BJP Parliamentary Board meeting, which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah, including Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Ananth Kumar, M Venkaiah Naidu and several top leaders.

BJP's Parliamentary Board is the party's highest decision-making body.

While addressing a press conference in the national capital, Shah announced the decision.

Shah said there has been no discussion yet on names for the vice president post.

The BJP chief said political parties had been informed of the NDA's choice. "I hope all will agree to the name," he said at a press conference. 

The BJP had on Sunday stepped up its efforts to gather support for its unnamed Presidential nominee, with its top leaders talking to allies Shiv Sena and LJP as well as the Trinamool Congress and BJD, even as it disclosed that the NDA candidate will file the nomination before June 24 after the opposition is conveyed its choice.

Bharatiya Janata Party and allied MPs are being called to New Delhi by Tuesday to sign the nomination papers. Each nomination paper has to be signed by at least 50 proposers and an equal number of seconders who can also be MLAs.

The National Democratic Alliance's attempt is to file at least three-four sets of nominations of its candidate so that all allies can get to sign.