In a surprise announcement, BJP part President Amit Shah announced that Ram Nath Kovind would be the NDA's candidate for the upcoming Presidential poll. Kovind is likely to file his papers on June 23, BJP president Amit Shah said after a nearly two-hour meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Board. He said political parties had been informed of the NDA's choice. "I hope all will agree to the name," he said at a press conference.
Here are eight facts about Ram Nath Kovind:
- Ram Nath Kovind is 71 years old. This is seen as an advantage since he can be chosen for a second term five years later. Pranab Mukherjee was 76 when he assumed the office.
- Kovind is a Supreme Court lawyer, a two-term Rajya Sabha member and has even been the BJP national spokesperson.
- He is currently the Governor of Bihar, having been a surprise appointment to the post in August 2015.
- Kovind is considered a major Dalit leader and has been the chief of the BJP Scheduled Caste Morcha.
- Kovind hails from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, where he was born on October 1, 1945.
- He entered politics in 1994 as a Rajya Sabha member, and he served for 12 years till 2006.
- As an MP, he is most well known was his efforts to build schools in rural Uttar Pradesh, using the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Division (MPLAD) scheme.
- Kovind has been on the boards of the BR Ambedkar University and the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.
Here are some political reactions to the news: