Patna: Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) has officially declared support for NDA’s pick for President Ram Nath Kovind.
Nitish Kumar all his MLAs and senior party leader Sharad Yadav in Patna and told them that the JD-U would not support the Congress-led Opposition if it fields a candidate against NDA’s Ram Nath Kovind.
JD-U MLA Ratnesh Sada, who represents Sonbarsha in the state Assembly said that the party has decided to support Kovind. “The decision was taken at a meeting of our legislators,” Sada said.
Nitish Kumar told his MLAs that Kovind, who was the Bihar Governor before he was picked by the Bharatiya Janata Party for the top post, was ‘a good man’, he added.
The Bihar CM has reportedly told Congress chief Sonia Gandhi about his decision. The Congress is in alliance with the JD-U and Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Bihar.
Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to meet Opposition party leader in New Delhi on Thursday to decided whether the UPA contest the July 17 presidential election or support Kovind
While the Left is keen to put up a symbolic fight for the poll on ideological differences with the BJP, the fact that the NDA candidate is a Dalit has put the Congress in a fix.
Sources said the Congress may now go in for a Dalit candidate, too, to match the NDA on the issue. Some of the names doing the rounds now are those of former Speaker Meira Kumar, B R Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar and former Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
If there is an election, Kovind is likely to win it, with the Shiv Sena and some other regional parties also announcing their support to the NDA.