A day after being announced as the National Democratic Alliance’s presidential candidate, Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind resigned from his post on Tuesday, reported PTI. An official statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan said Kovind’s resignation had been accepted by President Pranab Mukherjee.
Keshari Nath Tripathi, the governor of West Bengal, will now be discharging the functions of the Governor of Bihar, in addition to his own duties, the statement added.
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday had announced that the 71-year-old Kovind would be their candidate for president. Kovind was the former president of the BJP Dalit Morcha.
Support for Kovind as President
Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav too extended his support to Kovind and called him a deserving candidate on Tuesday.
“Ram Nath Kovind is a good candidate. I have a very old relation with him. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has selected a strong candidate. The most important thing is that the BJP has a majority. Can’t say what will opposition decide now,” Yadav told ANI.
Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday also announced the party’s support to Kovind’s candidature. “He has a nice personality. He has done a lot of good work,” he said during a press conference. Thackeray’s comments came a day after he had hinted that Shiv Sena may not support Kovind if his nomination was aimed at Dalit votebank. “If the name of Kovind is being put forward with a view to garner Dalit votes, then the Sena is not interested,” he had said on Monday.
Earlier, Naveen Patnaik, the Biju Janata Dal chief and chief minister of Odisha, had extended his full support to NDA’s presidential nominee, saying that the decision to elect President is above political considerations.
If Kovind is elected President, he will be the second Dalit leader to reach the post, after former President KR Narayanan. Kovind, 71, has been a Supreme Court lawyer and was president of the BJP’s SC/ST Morcha from 1998 to 2002, The Telegraph had reported in 2015.
The Presidential election will be held on July 17, and current President Pranab Mukherjee finishes his term on July 24.
The Opposition had said they would announce their candidates only after the ruling party had picked theirs. However, several leaders are expected to support the BJP candidate.