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Will contest Prez poll based on ideology: Opposition

After filing the nomination, Kovind stepped out with Modi, Shah, party stalwarts L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, and others.To achieve that, besides Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi Azad, CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury is likely to be in touch with top leaders of other parties to ensure their presence and send out a message of larger opposition unity.The former Bihar Governor and a Dalit leader Kovind was declared NDA’s presidential pick on Monday by the BJP president Amit Shah.Kovind is widely expected to sail through the presidential election, although a contest is imminent as the opposition parties have fielded former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as their nominee.The Shiv Sena, the Janata Dal (U) and the AIADMK, including O. Panneerselvam, have all backed Kovind’s candidature for the post of President.Nitish, facing calls to revoke his decision to support Kovind, said on Friday, “It is an election for President”.One additional set of papers would be filed on June 28, the last day of filing of the nominations papers.BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao, in response to the oppositions’ nomination, said: “When the Congress had the opportunity to elect a Dalit president when they were in power they did not find Meira Kumar suitable”.Meanwhile, Meira Kumar, the opposition candidate, in a statement appealed to all members of the Electoral College to vote on the basis of “cherished principles of.inclusiveness, social justice and pluralism”.Besides Gadkari and Yadav, Lok Sabha MPs – Ramesh Bidhuri and Ganesh Singh- will also accompany him.Kovind, if elected, will be the second dalit to occupy the highest constitutional office. President Pranab Mukherjee’s term ends on July 24.Meira Kumar, with an impressive political background, has been a five-time Member of Parliament.He enjoys a clean reputation and has steered clear of any controversy in his over 26-year-old political career.”BJP’s candidate Kovind, is not just from the oppressed community, but also believes in its agenda of oppression”. My effort will be to keep the post above party politics. “Ever since I became a governor, I don’t belong to any political party”.