The JD(U) on Thursday rejected its ally and RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s request to reconsider its support the NDA’s presidential nominee, Ram Nath Kovind, saying its stand is based on merit and it will stick it. After opposition parties decided to field Meira Kumar, Prasad said he will ask Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar not to back Kovind.
“Our decision to support Kovind remains unchanged. It was a decision taken on merit after due application of mind and full consultation within the party… We will stick with his choice,” JD(U) spokesperson Pavan Kumar Varma said.
He said Kovind is anyway the “president-in-waiting” due to the numerical advantage the NDA has in the electoral college and his contest with Meira Kumar will be a “token” exercise.
Defending Kumar against his decision to not go with other opposition parties, the former Rajya Sabha member noted that he had broken ranks with the NDA, of which he was a member then, and supported the UPA’s candidate Pranab Mukherjee in 2012.