A day after his name was announced as the NDA’s pick for the upcoming presidential election, Ram Nath Kovind resigned as Bihar Governor. West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi was given additional charge of Bihar, news agency ANI reported on Tuesday. President Pranab Mukherjee has accepted Kovind’s resignation, ANI added.
Earlier today, Kovind met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi and received BJP national president Amit Shah at his residence. Bihar Niwas has been witnessing a steady stream of visitors since yesterday after the NDA formally announced his name as their presidential candidate.
Kovind is a Dalit leader who was elected twice to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh. He was made Governor just before Bihar went to polls in 2015. His selection has come as a surprise to those within and outside the party. The BJP is hoping that the Opposition would back Kovind, given his low-key profile and his Dalit identity. The Congress, however, accused the BJP of “unilaterally” taking a decision to nominate Kovind without consulting the Opposition parties. Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Opposition parties will meet on June 22 and discuss the next course of action. Meanwhile, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and BSP supremo Mayawati stopped short of expressing their support to Kovind.
After meeting Kovind in Bihar, Nitish later told reporters: “In my capacity as the Bihar Chief Minister, it is a matter of happiness that our Governor has been declared as the candidate for the next President of India.”