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Kovind is anti-minority, says Congress

26 Juin 2017

Another key opposition figure, BSP's Mayawati, has chose to back Meira Kumar in what should be a relief for the opposition camp as she had expressed that in the event the opposition does not come with a better Dalit candidate, she would go with the BJP's choice Kovind, a Dalit.

Former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar more than satisfied the bill, as she is from Bihar, she is the daughter of late Congress leader and Minister Jagjivan Ram, has had a good innings as the Lok Sabha Speaker and is a woman thereby with the added gender dimension.

The RJD strongman, whose party along with the Congress is in a coalition government with Nitish Kumar's JD-U in Bihar, said while he would request Kumar to reconsider the matter, there would be no threat to the state government, which would continue despite the JD-U's decision. Nitish's comment that the "Bihar ki beti" jibe at him will not wash as the opposition had made a losing start to its 2019 campaign is a politically loaded comment. Kovind, the former governor of Bihar was selected by the NDA for the Presidential race last week.

“Meira Kumar is a better candidate, ” Misra quoted the BSP leader and former UP chief minister as saying.

Sources said a contest for the country's top constitutional post is on the cards as the majority in the opposition sees it an "ideological battle" that has to fought.

"When the Congress had the opportunity to elect a Dalit President when they were in power, they did not find Meira Kumar suitable". "The criticism, which comes just a day after RJD leader Lalu Prasad accused Kumar of making a "historic blunder" for refusing to endorse the opposition's presidential nominee Meira Kumar, reflects the widening rift in Bihar's ruling Grand Alliance. Therefore, there was no need to divide the nation on the Presidential election", Singh told ANI. All the 17 parties had proposed her name, he said. "(He) is a hardcore RSS man and even if the Congress had asked us to support him, I would have gone against it", he said.

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Reddy, accompanied by CPI national secretary Dr K Narayanana, said they hope both Patnaik and Kumar will have a rethink before casting their vote in favour of Kovind, whom they described as a "Sangha Parivar member". Clearly now she is seeing backing Meira Kumar.

Ahead of the meeting, the Left parties had chose to propose Gandhi, who is Mahatma Gandhi's grandson, and B R Ambedkar's grandson Prakash.

NCP: The party that was maintaining a curious silence so far has shown its support for Meira eventhough the first choice of NCP chief Sharad Pawar was former Maharashtra CM Sushil Kumar Shinde. At the meeting, leaders said that Kumar's decision to support Kovind's candidature was "most unfortunate" and that "he should not have done it".

The BJP and its allies have won the commitment of enough regional parties to have Mr Kovind elected.

Kumar, a dalit who was a Union Minister in the UPA government, said she was honoured to be the joint opposition candidate.

Kovind is anti-minority, says Congress