From SP to CPM: Parties that supported Meira Kumar as presidential candidate

After she was nominated, several opposition parties supported her. A list of the opposition parties that backed Meira Kumar's presidential candidature.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 23, 2017 6:36 pm
meira kumar, ram nath kovind, presidential candidate, opposition presidential candidate, nda presidential candidate, samajwadi party, sp, tmc, cpm, rjd, bsp, india news In 2009, Meira Kumar was elected as the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha, replacing Somnath Chaterjee. File/Express photo

The Opposition on Thursday fielded former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar against NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind in the July 17 presidential election. Seventeen Opposition parties met at the Parliament library to deliberate on a consensus candidate and unanimously picked Kumar as their nominee. Announcing her candidature at a press conference in Delhi, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said, “Opposition parties have unanimously proposed the name of Meira Kumar for the upcoming Rashtrapathi Election…”

In 2009, she was elected as the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha, replacing Somnath Chaterjee. Many claimed that her election was a political move by the Congress Party, pushing their image as pro-women, while also supporting Dalit rights. Kumar went on to hold the role till 2014. Kumar was a Cabinet Minister in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment during Dr. Manmohan Singh’s government. She worked with the Indian Foreign Service.

After she was nominated, several opposition parties supported her. Following are the opposition parties that backed her candidature:

TMC: Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mamata Banerjee spoke to Sonia Gandhi from The Netherlands and conveyed to her that she was agreeable to Meira Kumar’s candidature.

CPM: CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “Between the other four names we considered — Meira Kumar, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Bhalchandra Mungekar and Prakash Ambedkar — the point was we chose a name on which everyone agreed. It was an unanimous choice of all the Opposition parties and we have appealed to others in the opposition to support her.”

RJD: RJD’s Lalu Prasad called Nitish Kumar’s decision a “historic blunder” and “wrong decision.” He said he would meet the Bihar Chief Minister and “urge him to review his decision… I will tell him not to commit a historic blunder”. He called Meira Kumar “Bihar ki beti” (daughter of Bihar).

BSP: BSP chief Mayawati supported Meira Kumar, saying, “In new circumstances, it is clear from the comparison of both candidates that UPA and other Opposition parties’ nominee Meira Kumar is more popular and able than the NDA’s candidate. This is why our party declares its support for Meira Kumar for the post of President.”

SP: Samajwadi Party leader Ramgopal Yadav said that Meira Kumar is a better candidate than NDA Government’s presidential candidate Ramnath Kovind. “Her (Meira Kumar) stature is high and has been the speaker, minister and Lok Sabha member. Being the daughter of Babu Jagjivan Ram, the entire country knows her well. The opposition candidate is better than the candidate announced by the government,” said Yadav. “The Opposition has to play the role of being an opposition. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced its candidate and it has the majority also but even the opposition has brought forward a good candidate,” he added.

The election for the next President of India is to be held on July 17 as President Pranab Mukherjee will demit the office on July 24. The Election Commission of India (ECI) issued the notification in this regard and the process of the nomination has started that will continue till June 28.

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  1. R
    RAVI K
    Jun 23, 2017 at 9:40 pm
    With due respect to ms meira kumar i would like to mention that being supported by such corrupt and anti national dealers like laaloo,barwali madam,maaya,mulayam,pawar and karune etc is really an insult to her and her late father.this group is nothing but 'MAHA THAK BANDHAN"
    Reply
    1. M
      Madhava Rao
      Jun 23, 2017 at 9:05 pm
      The tradition of stalwarts as President was first broken by Congress President , The Italian maid and bar girl by appointing her 'friend', Prathibha Patil. In fact Sonia showed her contempt and mocked all Indians by appointing PP as the President of India.
      Reply
      1. B
        Bharat Maa
        Jun 23, 2017 at 9:42 pm
        get well soon, may god forgive you for all your lies that you spread on behalf of liars.
        Reply
        1. S
          Smart
          Jun 23, 2017 at 10:13 pm
          May God give you strength to withstand the pain of hard slap people gave after 60 years of sick-ular rule.
      2. d
        dv1936
        Jun 23, 2017 at 8:52 pm
        Every party is wanting a big chunk of Dalit votes, cheap vote bank politics.
        Reply
        1. B
          Bharat Maa
          Jun 23, 2017 at 9:43 pm
          after killing few dalits and treating tham like animals, suddenly BJP got love for dalit. strange oder?
          Reply
        2. D
          Devendra Shishodiya
          Jun 23, 2017 at 8:28 pm
          Days have gone when Pappu with limited brain could have thought to be PM and manage affairs with Hindu being butchered every where. Bangladeshi being given Ration Card to make this country muslim majority. We want that Article 370 be abolished, Muslims should be banned to produce more than 2, Uniform Civil Law be enacted. Kashmir, Kerala, Assam and Bengal should be ban Muslims and their Muslims must be resettled to make these states be Hindu majority else we feel that these Muslims will demand another Pak. Wherever Muslims are in majority Hindus must be brought in else these Pak agents will divide India. This should be priority of Namo to save India which only Namo can do.
          Reply
          1. C
            CONgress Hates Hindus
            Jun 23, 2017 at 8:49 pm
            Very well said brother, not just India shud be made Hindu nation but we shud aspire for making Pakistan Bangladesh Hindu again. Imagine the peace due to Hinduism and vibrant culture we will have in this land of ours.
            Reply
          2. C
            CONgress Hates Hindus
            Jun 23, 2017 at 8:24 pm
            This woman seems little Brain damaged to me, she knows only two words, " BAITH JAIYE BAITH JAIYE". She got promoted to speaker only due to caste not due to her ability or talent. It's unfortunate that she is allowed to run for president of India, but then agian, this is what opposition is all about, they are anti national sore losers
            Reply
            1. B
              Bharat Maa
              Jun 23, 2017 at 9:45 pm
              so you mean bjp has chosen a candidate for prasident just because of his caste only. anyway liars will never accept truth, but remember truth prevails. may god bless you.
              Reply
            2. S
              SATISH
              Jun 23, 2017 at 8:22 pm
              This Meira Kumar will be another Pratibha Patil who use to bow down to Italian Madam for giving President role. Also, Look at the mentality of current politicians. Just Bcoz NDA selected Kovind who happens to be Dalit, Italian Madam wanted to ensure her opposition friends will not desert her as Congress cannot support Kovind. Hence she fielded another Dalit. Nowdays, even if a candidate is from upper caste, scholar with clean image, nobody wants him or her to take up responsible role as they think lower caste PPL will not vote them in election. When will this junk politics ends President or PM are directly elected on merit?
              Reply
              1. S
                Sriram Kalpathi
                Jun 23, 2017 at 8:00 pm
                JDU has conveniently joined hands with NDA,throwing out RJD in wilderness. It is to be seen whether Lalu Prasad Yadav can gulp down the insult or will withdraw his support to JDU. Bihar government will be on shaky ground, without the RJD Congress support.
                Reply
                1. R
                  RAVI K
                  Jun 23, 2017 at 9:45 pm
                  Dear friend a corrupt person like bhaloo who gulped chaara will gulp anything.he is so shameless that he is never ashamed.those who vote his party should be ashamed.
                  Reply
                  1. B
                    Bharat Maa
                    Jun 23, 2017 at 9:47 pm
                    BJP can save him, or rather for their on interest they will pull him down faster .
                    Reply
                  2. R
                    Rajendra
                    Jun 23, 2017 at 7:36 pm
                    I am interested in knowing whether Meira Kumar has agreed to be 'bali ka bakra' sacrificial goat.
                    Reply
                    1. R
                      Rabi Mishra
                      Jun 24, 2017 at 7:55 pm
                      She must have agreed. Can she say no to Sonia? She may be the biological daughter of Babu J Ram, but she canot say to Sonia as Babu J Ram did to Indira.What irony?
                      Reply
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