NDA’s Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind will file his nomination papers on Friday in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a clutch of chief ministers of states ruled by the BJP and its allies. While Tamil Nadu Chief Minister EK Palaniswami and Telangana CM K Chandrasekhara Rao will grace the occasion, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, who announced support for Kovind, will give the event a miss.
Kovind, the former Governor of Bihar, is estimated to get 62 per cent of the votes in the Electoral College as he has the support of non-NDA constituents such as the AIADMK, TRS, BJD and JD(U).
“I am sure Shri Ram Nath Kovind will make an exceptional President & continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden & marginalised,” PM Modi had said at the time of Kovind’s nomination.
The presidential election will see a contest between two Dalit leaders for the first time as the Opposition has nominated former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as its candidate. Kumar, who has also been a cabinet minister in the UPA dispensation, is backed by the Congress, Left parties, RJD, SP, BSP and the Trinamool Congress.
The election is scheduled for July 17 and the counting of votes will take place on July 20. The term of incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee ends on July 24.