Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan today extended full support to the NDA's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, saying his choice is a political masterstroke by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He also asked opposition parties to support the Dalit candidate, claiming that if they put up a candidate against Kovind then they would be seen as "anti-Dalit".
"This is an historic decision. The Opposition should support the NDA candidate, rising above politics. If they don't support, it would mean they are anti-dalits," Paswan told reporters here.
If opposition parties field a Dalit against Kovind, then it will be nothing but 'vote-katva' (aimed at denting support to Kovind) politics, noted the LJP leader, a BJP ally. Paswan said that the LJP extends full support to the NDA candidate, who has been twice Rajya Sabha MP and headed SC/ST Morcha and has all qualifications to hold the presidential post.
"The choice of Kovind is a political masterstroke by Modiji. Every political party has its agenda. It is a slap on those parties who claim they work for dalits but in reality have not done anything for the community," Paswan added.
Paswan resumed his office today after a fortnight leave taken to undergo heart surgery in London. In his absence, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh had taken additional charge of the Food Ministry.