- Kovind had the backing of 28 parties initially, which later increased to 42.
- Kovind, in his campaign, covered the Northeastern states while Meira started her campaign from the Sabarmati ashram.
- Both Kovind and Meira consider the polls not as a Dalit versus Dalit contest, but aim to justify the superiority of the Constitution.
It might not come as a shock for many if Kovind emerged victorious in the Presidential elections 2017. With mullahs predicting maximum support for Kovind, Congress President Sonia Gandhi called for a "vote of conscience", naming the contest a "clash of ideas and a conflict of disparate values".
Meanwhile, prime Minister Narendra Modi, who addressed an all-party meet ahead of the Parliament session, said it would have been better if the President was elected by consensus. According to a New Indian Express, he further added, "However, it is a matter of satisfaction and pride that the election campaign has been a dignified one. All the political parties need to be congratulated. All parties must train their MPs and MLAs to cast their votes so that not a single vote is wasted."
The nomination of Meira Kumar by the Congress came with much ado when there was a close contest between Meira Kumar and Gopal Krishna Gandhi. JD(U), which is a close ally of Congress in Bihar, backed Kovind at the last minute, after having mooted the idea of putting up a joint candidate against the NDA. Other parties had taken the cue from JD(U) and started supporting Kovind thereafter.
A total of 95 candidates had been nominated for the top constitutional post, of which 93 candidates had been rejected outrightly. This left behind only Kovind and Meira Kumar in the poll fray. According to inside sources, Kumar has support of 17 opposition parties, Kovind is likely to get nearly 70 per cent of the electoral college votes.
Incidentally, JD(U) did not attend the opposition party meet. Following which, they justified saying, "Why does the Congress create such an embarrassing situation for us? Why did they organise the meeting of MPs with both Meira Kumar and Gandhi? When we have not supported Meira Kumar’s candidature, how could we go there?”
Meanwhile, according to a BJP source, Kovind was backed by 28 parties initially, but now has the support of 42. Both Meira and Kovind had campaigned across the states. While Kovind ensured that he covered the North Eastern states, Meira started her campaign from the Sabarmati ashram. While Kovind served as the governor of Bihar and claims no party alliances throughout his political career, Meira is teh daughter of former deputy prime minister Jagjivan Ram. While both the NDA and the Congress have highlighted the cast of their candidates, Meira disapproved of the "Dalit versus Dalit contest".
Kovind too went beyond the cast politics and highlighted the importance of "maintaining the supremacy of the Constitution".
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:31 PM