Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind has been made the National Democratic Alliance's presidential candidate, announced Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah on Monday at a press conference after the party's parliamentary body meet.
Shah further said that Kovind’s name was decided upon after consultations with Opposition leaders, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi and ex-prime minister Manmohan Singh.
"PM has personally spoken to Sonia Gandhi ji, Manmohan Singh ji and everyone has been informed about the decision,” he added.
Gandhi had said that the Congress’ decision will be announced after discussion, Shah said.
"Mr. Kovind will file nomination on June 23. We have simply informed other leaders," said Shah. "I am hoping for consensus on Mr. Kovind's candidature," Shah added.
Kovind, born on October 1, 1945, is currently the Governor of Bihar. He is a Dalit leader who has been Bihar’s governor for three years, since the beginning of Modi’s tenure. Hailing from Uttar Pradesh, Kovind has been elected as a Rajya Sabha MP twice, in 1994 and 2000. He is also an advocate and has practiced law for 12 years. Kovind was Central Government Advocate in Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979 and Central Government Standing Counsel in Supreme Court from 1980 to 1993. He became Advocate-on-Record of the Supreme Court of India in 1978.
Notably, if elected, Kovind will be the second Dalit Indian president after K R Narayanan.
The presidential polls will be held on July 17.