Oppn parties to meet on June 22 to decide on consensus Prez nominee
Opposition parties will meet on June 22 to decide on fielding a consensus candidate for the presidential election, with the NDA declaring Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as its nominee for the post, Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal said on Monday.
The Congress on Monday spurned the BJP's appeal for consensus on its choice for president and said the opposition would take a call on contesting the election after a meeting on June 22.
The BJP had taken a "unilateral decision", Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said soon after the announcement of Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as the NDA's candidate for president.
In a setback to Opposition unity, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday expressed happiness over state Governor Ram Nath Kovind's candidature for the President's post, but stopped short of committing support to the NDA nominee.
"In my capacity as the Bihar Chief Minister, it is a matter of happiness that our Governor has been declared as the candidate for the next President of India," he told reporters after paying a courtesy call to Kovind at the Raj Bhawan, hours after the BJP announced his name as the NDA candidate for the presidential election.
BSP boss Mayawati on Monday said her party is positive about the NDA nominating Ram Nath Kovind for the presidential election but wished the ruling alliance had named a non-political Dalit candidate for the top post.