Presidential election 2017: Meira Kumar is Opposition candidate

Presidential election 2017: Seventeen Opposition parties met at the Parliament library on Thursday to deliberate on a consensus candidate. They have decided to field former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar against NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 22, 2017 8:18 pm
Meira Kumar, Presidential candidate, Opposition candidate, Ram Nath Kovind, Presidential election 2017, Presidential election 2017:  Meira Kumar is a five-time Lok Sabha MP and served as Speaker between 2009 and 2014.

The Opposition has decided to field 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 on Thursday to deliberate on a consensus candidate and have unanimously picked Meira 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…”

He then went on to illustrate her work in public life. Calling her a “crusader for social justice”, Azad said the Opposition couldn’t have picked a better candidate. Meira Kumar has worked in various Indian missions across the world as an IFS officer. The five-time Lok Sabha MP was the union minister for Water Resources in the United Progressive Alliance government. Meira Kumar has also served as Lok Sabha speaker from 2009 to 2014.

When asked by reporters how the meeting played out, 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.”

The 72-year-old Congress leader met party president Sonia Gandhi at the latter’s residence on Wednesday, fueling speculation that she has emerged as the frontrunner for the presidential nomination.

The Opposition’s plan to take on the NDA faced a setback as the Janata Dal (United) has favoured Kovind, who was the Bihar Governor. The Janata Dal (Secular) have also reportedly sided with the NDA pick, leading to cracks in the Opposition camp. JD(U)’s ally in Bihar, RJD has, however, backed the idea of fielding an Opposition candidate. Speaking to reporters outside the Parliament today, RJD chief Lalu Prasad said: “Nitish ji called me, said that it is his personal decision. I would appeal to him to rethink. Won’t break alliance.” He said the Opposition was fighting an ideological battle with the NDA and not the merits and demerits of a candidate.

At today’s Opposition meeting, Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sharad Pawar, Ahmed Patel, Sitaram Yechury, D Raja and Omar Abdullah were among the prominent leaders present. Though Trinamool Congress’ Mamata Banerjee, BSP’s Mayawati and SP’s Akhilesh Yadav gave the meeting a miss, they have sent their representatives. The Left were earlier in favour of former West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi or B R Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash, but it appears the Congress has put their weight behind Meira Kumar.

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  1. P
    Polling Bhoot
    Jun 30, 2017 at 10:30 am
    Vote for your favourite presidential candidate by visiting the Link given below. s: /?p_id 5691 Let Your Vote Be Your Voice
    1. H
      Jun 27, 2017 at 10:42 pm
      Hello Friends, don't you think Meira Kumar looks similar to Ruth Negga?
      1. P
        Polling Bhoot
        Jun 30, 2017 at 10:31 am
        Vote for your favourite presidential candidate by visiting the Link given below. s: /?p_id 5691 Let Your Vote Be Your Voice
      2. R
        Real bakchod
        Jun 23, 2017 at 5:59 am
        Am i the only one who is pissed at politicians playing with caste and religion so blatantly... Now we have two dalits toyed for the top post. Earlier we got muslims and a Sikh as a president just because ? ..... I belong to minority but I am happy to see somebody from community to rise. But this way!? this is totally shameful. Makes me sad. Problem is if i am in such a situation, where they would give me option to be somebody in history books vs nobody.... I am not sure would i be able to say no. Anyways, in democracy we start choosing our president also, or totally get of this nominated post.... where people are just toyed.
        1. C
          Cherian Mani
          Jun 23, 2017 at 5:22 am
          Daughter of the famous turncoat Congressman Jagjivan Ram who introduced the infamous EMERGENCY BILL in Parliament on behalf of Indira Gandhi and later on shunted her to join the opposite group to become Deputy Prime Minister ? A long time Cabinet Minister Jagjivan Ram also "forgot" to file IT returns for 10-years ? The electorate this time will not take the RISK to elect another Congresswoman like the former Indian President Padibha Patel who took away precious properties of our Rashtrapathibhan when she retired and our President Pranab Mukhergy had to take the trouble to retrieve them from the infamous Congresswoman Pradiba Patel.
          1. K
            kris kumar
            Jun 23, 2017 at 1:17 am
            The opposition are only opposing for the sake of it and what will they gain from bringing Meira into the contest. Even though I have nothing against her but I am sure she will lose it. I do not know why she is standing for President any way? Congressi are dictated by chor Sonia and helped by chor Lalu and the others goons like Leftists, Mumtaz, NC and others anti Modi brigades.
            1. S
              Sankar Iyer
              Jun 23, 2017 at 12:55 am
              I have one question to CPM general secretary Comrade Sitaram Yechury. Have you ever heard of Vimochana Samaram (liberation struggle), Comrade E.M.S Namboothiripad and how he was ousted by Bharatha Ratna Mrs. Indira Gandhi with the help oF Moral Re-Armament (CIA underdog).. I was a witness to all in Thiruvananthapuram and I was a great fan of E.M.S. a giant among leaders and you should be ashamed to call yourself a follower his party.
              1. R
                Jun 22, 2017 at 11:36 pm
                Mr. Kovind's Presidency Is A Foregone Conclusion....... .......NDA and the Nation can continue with the Governance of the Nation they are remarkably progressing in in parti tion with the billion-plus well-wishers of the Nation. The near-ouster of the earlier colonial-proxy from the Indian political canvas has created a huge space for fresh en ies to fill it up on a national level......laloos, yechurys, mayas, etc. facing questions of their own survival can apply as soon as the new en ies come up.....AAP is already proved to be a failed experiment so no point applying to them !
                1. K
                  Kiran Prakash Gupta
                  Jun 22, 2017 at 10:44 pm
                  Does she be named as daughter of Babu jagjiwan Ram who left Congress in1977 due to humiliating insult and fought against the party.
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