Presidential Polls: Meira Kumar is opposition's answer to NDA's Ram Nath Kovind

Presidential Election Gopal Gandhi or Prakash Ambedkar would be our choice says Sitaram Yechury ahead of Opposition meet

We have lot of respect for "Bihar Ki Beti" (Meira Kumar). "We are very happy with this, it is a matter of Bihar's development", Senior JD (U) leader Ratnesh Sada said after meeting all party leaders.

Making it a Dalit vs Dalit battle in the Presidential election, the Opposition parties today picked former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as their candidate for India's next President.

Daughter of former Deputy Prime Minister and prominent Dalit leader Jagjivan Ram, Meira Kumar is a 5-time MP and was the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha from 2009 to 2014. Various other opposition parties, which were nearly sidelined by the NDA-led BJP Government as it announced Ram Nath Kovind as their presidential candidate. Kumar said the decision to support Kovind was taken at the meeting of JD (U)'s core committee.

In her speeches, Kumar has said that the country's sustainable growth is not possible without ending the centuries-old exclusion of marginalized groups such as scheduled castes and tribes.

Opposition's Presidential candidate Meira Kumar on Friday stressed that the post is "not symbolic" and that "capability and experience must always supersede" every other consideration for it.

"I will speak to Nitish Kumar and try to persuade him to reconsider this decision, to not make this historic blunder (of backing Kovind)".

"He (Kovind) also said that Dalit status should not be given to Dalit Christians. We hope the entire electorate of Telangana will vote for Meira Kumar", he said. "The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced its candidate and it has the majority also but even the opposition has brought forward a good candidate", he added.

"It was RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav who pitched for Kumar".

He said that he was not upset with Mr Kumar about marching out of the 17-member opposition front formed to combat the election for President and that the perception of their alliance being imperiled are off the mark.

"Our decision to support Kovind remains unchanged". On Monday, after NDA declared Kovind as its candidate, Mayawati had said that she was happy that a dalit had been nominated. Most of these leaders were present during the May 26 luncheon meeting hosted by Sonia Gandhi at the same venue.

Ahead of the meeting, the Left parties had chose to propose Gandhi, who is Mahatma Gandhi's grandson, and B R Ambedkar's grandson Prakash. The decision was made to woo back the JD (U) and also ensure that the BSP did not break away from the opposition.



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