New Delhi, June 23, 2017: NDA’s Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind files his nomination papers on Friday in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah and Chief Ministers of NDA-ruled states.
After filing his nomination for the July 17 election, Kovind told the media here: “The President’s post carries a lot of dignity. And I promise I will always uphold the dignity of this office.”
He added: “The Constitution is supreme and it is our duty to maintain its supremacy.”
Kovind filed three set of nomination papers. BJP leaders said another set will be filed on June 28, the last date for filing nominations in the election which will see the former Bihar Governor take on opposition candidate and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.
Senior BJP leaders L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi sat on the front row along with Modi, Amit Shah, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal as Kovind filed his papers.
Others present included Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
— ANI (@ANI_news) June 23, 2017
Kovind, the former Governor of Bihar, is estimated to get 62 per cent of the votes in the Electoral College as he has the support of non-NDA constituents such as the AIADMK, TRS, BJD and JD(U).
At the time of Kovind’s nomination, Modi said “I am sure Shri Ram Nath Kovind will make an exceptional President & continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden & marginalised.”
The presidential election will see a contest between two Dalit leaders for the first time as the Opposition has nominated former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as its candidate. Kumar, who has also been a cabinet minister in the UPA dispensation, is backed by the Congress, Left parties, RJD, SP, BSP and the TMC.
The election is scheduled for July 17 and the counting of votes will take place on July 20. The term of incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee ends on July 24.
- JD(U) ally RJD chief Lalu Prasad said that he will ask Nitish Kumar to reconsider his decision to support NDA’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind because “Meira Kumar will win”.
- Former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, who is the candidate of major opposition parties in the 17 July presidential election, will file her nomination on 27 June, Congress sources told media.