In a surprise move, Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind has been declared as the NDA’s Presidential candidate by the BJP president Amit Shah. The decision on the name of the 76-year-old Kovind, a senior Dalit leader, for the top post was made at the meeting of BJP Parliamentary Board – the party’s highest decision making body – chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier today. Kovind is likely to file his nomination on June 23.
Addressing a Press conference in New Delhi, BJP president Amit Shah said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has communicated the decision to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Born on 1 October, 1945 in Paraunkh village in Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh, Ram Nath Kovind is a prominent Dalit leader. He is a B.Com graduate and LLB from Kanpur University.
A lawyer by profession, Kovind had enrolled as an advocate with the Bar Council of Delhi in 1971. He had practised in Delhi High Court and Supreme Court for about two decades. Kovind had worked as a central government advocate in Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979. He worked in the Central Government Standing Counsel of the Supreme Court from 1980 to 1993. In 1978, he was the Advocate-on-Record of the Supreme Court.
Kovind worked as the national president of BJP Dalit Morcha from 1998 to 2002. He also worked as the president of the All-India Koli Samaj.
Kovind has served as the national spokesperson of the BJP. Kovind was elected to Rajya Sabha from UP for two consecutive terms – 1994-2000 and 2000-2006. On 8, August 2015, Kovind was appointed as the Governor of Bihar.