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CM appeals for support for Kovind as President

Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind has resigned from his post after he has been nominated as the ruling NDA’s presidential candidate.A communique issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan said today that President Pranab Mukherjee has accepted the resignation of Mr Kovind.West Bengal governor Keshari Nath Tripathi was given additional charge as Bihar governor.The environment and science and technology minister met Kovind and extended his wishes on his nomination as presidential candidate by the NDA alliance.Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday also announced the party’s support to Kovind’s candidature. If all goes well for the BJP in the next one month, Kovind will nearly certainly emerge as a victor on July 20, 2017 when India gets its new President at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. “We will give our final decision on the NDA nominee tomorrow”, Thackeray said.He said, “Shah has talked to smallest party in Northeast India and sought their support for NDA’s nominee”.Earlier, he had said, “If the name of Kovind is being put forward with a view to garner Dalit votes then the Sena is not interested”.Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury said Kovind “was chief of the RSS’s Dalit branch” and “somewhere it was a political fight or contest”.”Amit Shah had called me yesterday and told that BJP has chose to field Ram Nath Kovind for the election, and all the alliance partners of NDA are with them”.The election of the lawyer-turned politician as the 14th President in any case is a virtual certainty because of assurance of support by some non-NDA regional parties. The meeting was hosted by Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray at his Bandra residence. PM Modi, who called Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao on phone, told him “as per your (the chief minister’s) suggestion, we have decided upon a Dalit candidate for the presidential post”.For its candidate to get elected, the BJP needs to get at least 50% +1 of the value of first preference votes; in the unlikely event that this does not happen, there will be subsequent rounds of voting during each of which the lowest polling candidate is removed. We are trying to build a consensus because several parties may have different names. “A meeting will be held soon to discuss the same”, he said.The Left leadership is keen on putting up a symbolic fight for the July 17 polls on ideological differences with BJP, but the dalit NDA face has put Congress in a fix. “Thus, we chose to go ahead with his name”.