Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind is the National Democratic Alliance's nominee for President , BJP president Amit Shah announced at a press conference in New Delhi on Monday after a BJP Parliamentary Board meeting.
The Opposition is yet to announce its candidate for the presidential poll.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, and other political leaders on the issue. The date for nomination will be set in consultation with Kovindji, but most likely it will be on June 23. We have simply informed other leaders. I am hoping for consensus on Mr. Kovind's candidature," Mr. Shah said, adding that no decision has yet been taken on the Vice President nominee.
"Ramnathji has always spoken for the deprived sections of society, and has had a long career in speaking out for Dalits and oppressed sections of society," Mr. Shah said.
Mr. Modi said in a tweet, "I am sure Shri Ram Nath Kovind will make an exceptional President & continue to be a strong voice for the poor, downtrodden & marginalised."
Mr. Kovind, a Dalit leader, was born on October 1, 1945 in Kanpur Dehat, Uttar Pradesh. He was a Central Government Advocate in the Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979 and Central Government Standing Counsel in Supreme Court from 1980 to 1993. He became Advocate-on-Record of the Supreme Court in 1978.
He was a member of the Rajya Sabha twice, in 1994 and 2006, before being appointed Governor of Bihar. He was the general secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Koli Samaj in Kanpur and the national president of the BJP Scheduled Caste Morcha. He has been associated with the RSS and causes related to Dalits for many years now.
He has served as a member of the following committees:
- Parliamentary Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Tribes.
- Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs.
- Parliamentary Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas.
- Parliamentary Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment.
- Parliamentary Committee on Law and Justice.
- Chairman of Rajya Sabha House Committee.