Former Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday was elected as the 14th President of India. He was the NDA’s presidential candidate and won with over 7 lakh votes against Opposition candidate Meira Kumar. Kovind, 71, is a Dalit leader and will take oath as the 14th President of India.
He has served as the head of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s SC and ST wings and served two terms in Rajya Sabha–1994-2000 and 2000- 2006. He has also been the national spokesperson of the BJP. A distinguished statesman and orator, Kovind has addressed the United Nations as India’s representative in 2002.
After his tenure in the Rajya Sabha, he was sworn-in as the 36th Governor of Bihar in August 2015. He was sent to Bihar ahead of the assembly elections. He had replaced West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi who was holding the additional charge of Bihar. Kovind practised at both the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court for 16 years.
Kovind was born on October 1, 1945 in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur Dehat district. He came from a modest background and worked his way from the ground to the top of the political pyramid. He married Savita Kovind on 30th May, 1974. They have one son and a daughter.
Kovind is a lawyer by training. He attained his B.Com and LLB degrees from Kanpur University and had a successful career as a practicing lawyer. He served as the Central Government’s advocate in Delhi High Court between 1977 and 1979. He was also standing counsel in Supreme Court between 1980 and 1993. He was made Advocate-on-Record at the apex court in 1978 and continued his legal practice at the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court till 1993.
Kovind held key positions in parliamentary committees during his 12-year stint as a lawmaker. Besides serving as the Chairman of Rajya Sabha House Committee, he was member of Parliamentary Committees on Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Tribes; Home Affairs; Petroleum and Natural Gas; Social Justice and Empowerment; Law and Justice.
He has several academic associations as well. He is on the management board of Dr. BR Ambedkar University, Lucknow. He is a member of Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.
As MP, Kovind has done extensive work in providing access to education in remotest areas of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. He also used his legal acumen to help provide free legal aid to backward or weaker sections of the society. He focused especially on SC/ST women, poor and elderly.