The Communist Party of India (CPI) today said that the opposition parties must put up their candidate against the BJP’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind as he is from the ranks of RSS.
"He (Ram Nath Kovind) is also from RSS ranks. He was president of Dalit BJP Morcha...Sangh Pariwar organisation. Definitely, we will put up a candidate. Anybody from RSS...we will fight," CPI General Secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy said.
The reaction comes immediately after the BJP named Bihar Governor Kovind as the ruling alliance’s candidate for the post of President.
The CPI leader further said that his party feels that the opposition must put up a candidate, adding that a decision would be taken in consultation with ‘our colleagues and other parties’.
“Anybody from RSS rank will further divide the country. The three-year rule of the BJP government has divided the country. Anybody from RSS ranks will further divide the country. We feel that definitely (there is a need for a) democratic candidate, not from hardcore of RSS,” he said.
Reddy also said that the Opposition parties have decided to field a candidate.
“We have decided that on (June) 20th or 21st we will finalise the candidate. There is a sub-committee. In consultations we felt we should definitely put up a candidate. The sub-committee will meet on 21st or so and finalise the candidate,” he said.
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 on June 28.
Kovind is likely to file his papers on June 23 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to leave for the United States 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.
The term of current President Pranab Mukherjee ends on July 24.
With PTI Inputs