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Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit who will be India’s first UP-born elected President

Ram Nath Kovind, 71, the former Governor of Bihar, is all set to be elected as the 14th President of India.

Abhinav Ranjan Written by: Abhinav Ranjan New Delhi Updated on: July 20, 2017 14:32 IST
Ram Nath Kovind
Ram Nath Kovind

Uttar Pradesh, the largest state of India in terms of population, sends 80 members to Lok Sabha, 30 members to Rajya Sabha and has 403 seats in its Assembly. These legislators play crucial role in the election to the post of President. The state, mathematics says, has the most weightage in a presidential election. Yet, never in the history of Republic of India has there been a President who was born in the state.

The only UP-born leader to have held the highest constitutional authority in the country was Justice Mohammad Hidayatullah, but he was only the acting President of India for two brief terms. Hidayatullah, born in Lucknow in British-ruled Indian in 1905, served as the Acting President of India from July 20, 1969 to August 24, 1969 and from October 6, 1982 to October 31, 1982.

Know who is Ram Nath Kovind: A crusader for the rights of weaker sections


But that is set to change now as Uttar Pradesh will be sending its first leader to the Rashtrapati Bhavan today. The development would come as a big feat for the state which boasts of having sent six (Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Charan Singh, VP Singh and Chandra Sekhar) Prime Ministers to the Centre.

If considered the constituencies, Uttar Pradesh has the credit of giving nine Prime Ministers, including incumbent Narendra Modi, who is a Lok Sabha member from Varanasi. Earlier, PMs hailing from Uttar Pradesh were Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Charan Singh, Rajiv Gandhi, Vishwanath Pratap Singh, Chandra Shekhar and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Ram Nath Kovind, 71, the former Governor of Bihar, is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA's presidential nominee. Kovind was born on October 1, 1945 at Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh in British India. A lawyer by profession, Kovind belongs to Koli community, a sub-caste of larger Dalit community.

From KR Narayanan to Ram Nath Kovind, a tale of two Dalit Presidents

A former president of the BJP Dalit Morcha (1998-2002), Kovind has also served as a national spokesperson of the party. He was also the president of the All-India Koli Samaj. On August 8, 2015, he was appointed as the Governor of Bihar.

A commerce graduate and LLB from the Kanpur University in Uttar Pradesh, Kovind has been a successful lawyer. He practised in the Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979 and was the central government's standing counsel in the Supreme Court from 1980 to 1993. Kovind became an Advocate-on-Record of the Supreme Court of India in 1978. He practised in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court for about 16 years until 1993.

He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in April 1994 from Uttar Pradesh and served two consecutive terms till March, 2006.

Here is the state of origin (by birth) of the last Indian Presidents:

1- Rajendra Prasad (26 January 1950 - 12 May 1962) -- Siwan, Bengal Presidency, British India (now in Bihar)

2- Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (13 May 1962 - 13 May 1967) -- Thiruttani, Madras Presidency, British India (now in Tiruvallur District, Tamil Nadu)

3- Zakir Husain (13 May 1967 - 3 May 1969) -- Hyderabad, Hyderabad State, (now in Telangana)

4- VV Giri, Acting President (3 May 1969 – 20 July 1969) -- Berhampur, British India (now in Odisha)

5- Mohammad Hidayatullah, Acting President (20 July 1969 – 24 August 1969) -- Lucknow, United Provinces, British India (now in Uttar Pradesh)

6- VV Giri (24 Aug 1969 – 24 Aug 1974) -- He is the only person to have served as both an acting President and President of India

7- Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (24 August 1974 - 11 February 1977) -- Delhi, British India

8- BD Jatti, Acting President (11 February 1977 – 25 July 1977) -- Savalagi, Bombay Presidency, British India (now in Karnataka)

9- Neelam Sanjiva Reddy (25 July 1977 - 25 July 1982) -- Illur, Madras Presidency, British India (now in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh)

10- Gyani Zail Singh (25 July 1982 – 25 July 1987) -- Sandhwan, Punjab Province, British India (now Punjab)

11- Ramaswamy Venkataraman (25 July 1987 – 25 July 1992) -- Rajamadam, Madras Presidency, British India (now in Tamil Nadu)

12- Shankar Dayal Sharma (25 July 1992 - 25 July 1997) -- Bhopal, Central India Agency, British India (now in Madhya Pradesh)

13- KR Narayanan (25 July 1997 - 25 July 2002) -- Perumthanam, Travancore, British India (now Uzhavoor in Kerala)

14- APJ Abdul Kalam (25 July 2002 - 25 July 2007) -- Rameswaram, Ramnad district, Madras Presidency, British India (now in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu)

15- Pratibha Devisingh Patil (25 July 2007 – 25 July 2012) -- Nadgaon, Bombay Presidency, British India (now in Maharashtra)

16- Pranab Mukherjee (25 July 2012 – Incumbent) -- Mirati, British Bengal, British India (now in West Bengal)

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