The Janta Dal (United) on Wednesday said they will support the National Democratic Alliance’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind, NDTV reported. JD(U) members said after a party meeting that Nitish Kumar, the chief minister of Bihar, had decided to side with the Narendra Modi government and support their candidate.
The development comes before an Opposition meeting on Thursday. Kumar is believed to have said they will not support the Opposition if it puts up its own contender.
“All the leaders have decided that we will support Ram Nath Kovind for the post of president,” senior party leader Ratnesh Sada said after the meeting. “He is Bihar’s first governor who has been nominated for this post. We are very happy with this, it is the matter of Bihar’s development,” he added. Another party leader, KC Tyagi, also confirmed the news to ANI. “We decided to extend support to NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind as his tenure as governor had been peaceful,” he said. However, Chief Minister Kumar is yet to comment on this.
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday had announced that Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind would be their candidate for president. Kovind was the former president of the BJP Dalit Morcha. Kovind had resigned from his post of Bihar Governor on Tuesday.
The Bihar chief minister had met Kovind at Raj Bhawan in Patna after the announcement was made and extended his wishes to the 71-year-old, ANI reported. Though he had expressed happiness that a Bihar governor was the NDA’s candidate for the presidential election, he had said that a detailed discussion would be held on the matter within the party.
The Opposition parties will meet at the Parliament library on Thursday around 4.30 pm to deliberate on Kovind’s candidature and, possibly, pick a consensus candidate. The Presidential election will be held on July 17. Current President Pranab Mukherjee finishes his term on July 24.