Can never be against nomination of ‘Dalit’ Ramnath Kovind: Mayawati

Lucknow,UP: Despite expressing her support for National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Presidential nominee Bihar Governor Ramnath Kovind, Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati on Monday said the Centre should have taken all Opposition parties in ‘good faith’ before announcing the name.

Speaking to ANI, Mayawati said, “We have known Ramnath Kovind since ages as he has been associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as well. Also he comes from a Dalit background, so our stand will never be negative towards him but will stay positive forever. It would have been better if our NDA would have taken all the opposition parties in ‘good faith’ before announcing the name the support towards this election would have been greater”.

Further giving her opinion over Presidential Elections, Mayawati stated that BJP should have selected a name from a non-political background which will be better.

“My small advice towards this is- it could have been better if BJP would have selected a name from a non-political background,” Mayawati added.

Meanwhile, the Congress also rebuffed the NDA’s move saying that the decision was taken without their consensus.

“During the meeting the senior leaders of the BJP had said that they will inform us before any announcement for a consensus, but they informed us after taking the decision. The Centre apprised the senior leaders, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh about the announcement over phone after taking the decision. So there is no question of mutual consent,” senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told the media here.

Asserting that the decision was one sided and taken without mutual consent, Azad further said that the grand old party would not comment on NDA’s Presidential nominee as of now and would meet on June 22 to formally discuss the matter.

“The Congress party doesn’t want to comment on the name of the candidate announced by the NDA government. We only want to say that we had expected that before they take the final decision on the candidate they will come back to us and other political parties to build consensus first. But that doesn’t happen,” he said.

He further said that the meetings which were called by the BJP to discuss the Presidential nominee’s name with the opposition parties were mere a formality and PR exercise.

The parliamentary board of the BJP met here today to discuss the upcoming presidential election.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari and M. Venkaiah Naidu and other senior party leaders deliberated on the names for the top constitutional post.

The election for the next President of India is to be held on July 17 as President Pranab Mukherjee will demit the office on July 25.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) issued the notification in this regard and the process of the nomination has started that will continue till June 28. (ANI)