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BSP to support 'more capable, popular' Meira Kumar: Mayawati

BSP supremo Mayawati on Thursday backed the Opposition's candidate Meira Kumar for the President's post, while taking exception to NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind's association with the "narrow ideologies" of the BJP and the RSS. "The Opposition's nominee for President's post Meira Kumar is more capable and popular than the NDA candidate," she said moments after Kumar's candidature was announced.

"BSP will support Meira Kumar in the presidential election," she declared. Mayawati said Kovind had been associated with the "narrow ideologies" of the BJP and the RSS right from the beginning.

"Hence, I do not subscribe to his political background," she said in a statement issued here. "In the new circumstances, after comparing the qualities of two candidates it is clear that opposition candidate Meria Kumar is more capable and popular than the NDA nominee. Hence, our party declares support to Meira Kumar for the presidential poll," she said.

The fact that the candidature of Kovind did not go down well with Mayawati became evident when she abstained from a dinner hosted by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in honour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Tuesday.

The dinner, in which Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav too was conspicuous by his absence, was, however, attended by his father and party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav, amply reflecting his support for the NDA nominee. Mulayam has already said Kovind is a deserving candidate. "Ram Nath Kovind is a good candidate. I have a very old relation with him. BJP has selected a strong candidate," he has said. Even before the announcement of Kovind's name for the top constitutional post, Mulayam had hinted he would back the NDA candidate.
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