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Can't oppose Ram Nath Kovind’s name: Mayawati on NDA’s Dalit presidential pick

India TV Politics Desk Lucknow 19 Jun 2017, 19:04:59 IST
India TV Politics Desk

BSP chief Mayawati today said that her party cannot take a negative stand against the ruling BJP-led NDA’s Dalit pick for the post of President.

"The BSP's stand cannot be negative towards a Dalit nominee for the post of President. Our stand will be positive provided the opposition does not field any Dalit for the top post," she said here. 

The BSP chief, however, said it would have been better if all opposition parties were taken into confidence by the NDA at the Centre before announcing the name of its candidate. 

"As he is a Dalit, we can't oppose his name, but only if the united opposition doesn't announce a popular Dalit name. We are also of the opinion that it would have been better if the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had named some non-political Dalit person for the post of President," she added.

Bihar Government Ram Nath Kovind, a 71-year-old low profile Dalit leader, a two-term BJP Rajya Sabha member, is being seen as an astute choice by the saffron party, which has been targeted by opposition parties over Dalit issues. His election is almost a certainty as the ruling bloc with the support of some regional parties enjoys a majority in the electoral college. 

Kovind's choice is being seen as a political masterstroke as opposition parties would not like to be seen opposing a Dalit being elected to the country's highest office. K R Narayanan was the country's first Dalit president.