Senior Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and incumbent Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind will be the NDA's nominee for the July 17 presidential election, party president Amit Shah said on Monday. The decision was arrived at the BJP Parliamentary Board, party's highest decision-making body, which was called to discuss and select the party's candidate.
Amit Shah said that Kovind is the nominee of NDA and his name has been finalised after deliberating and discusssing with various political parties, including the opposition.
Ram Nath Kovind, who belongs to Dalit community, is belongs to Kanpur Dehat district in Uttar Pradesh. He has been a Rajya Sabha MP for two terms -- 1994-2000 and 2000-2006.
A lawyer by profession, Kovind was appointed the Governor of Bihar on August 8, 2015.
Besides Modi and Shah, Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh, Ananth Kumar, M. Venkaiah Naidu and several top leaders were present at the party office for the meeting of the BJP's Parliamentary Board where Kovind's name was finalised.
The Board members will be briefed about the consultation undertaken by a three-member party committee with allies and opposition parties. The committee members include union ministers Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley, who are also the members of the Board.
The meeting came a day after Amit Shah met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as part of the BJP's efforts to ensure support of allies in the presidential election.
The Election Commission of India had started the process of filing the nomination for the next President of India on June 14.
The nomination process will close in two weeks- June 28. But the nomination of the BJP's presidential candidate is likely to be filed by June 23, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leaving for the US on June 24.
The nomination papers will be scrutinised on June 29. Only those candidates backed by 50 'electors' and seconded by another 50 can contest the presidential poll.
Voting will take place on July 17 from 10 am to 5 pm at the places of polling fixed under the rules. The result will be out on July 20.
BJP President Amit Shah has formed a panel comprising senior cabinet ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu to consult with allies and opposition parties for the presidential candidate.