Nitish Kumar’s thumbs up to Kovind’s nomination as presidential nominee
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Nitish Kumar’s thumbs up to Kovind’s nomination as presidential nominee

Nitish Kumar has virtually endorsed Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind nomination as a presidential candidate. But he remained non-committal of the JD(U)’s support to Kovind’s candidature.

india Updated: Jul 06, 2017 09:59 IST
Vijay Swaroop
Vijay Swaroop
Hindustan Times, Patna
Nitish Kumar,Bihar chief minister,Ram Nath Kovind
Chief minister Nitish Kumar greets Bihar governor and NDA presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind at governor’s house in Patna on Monday.(Governor’s Secretariat)

Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) choice of Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind as presidential nominee was “a matter of happiness” for him.

Kumar who met governor Kovind on Monday congratulated him, but was non-committal on the support of his party, Janata Dal (United), to his candidature.

“It’s not possible to comment on this at this juncture. I had a talk with Grand Alliance leaders, including Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, on the issue and made them aware of my feelings on the NDA’s choice,” he told reporters as he emerged out of Raj Bhawan

Kumar also showered wholesome praise on Kovind. “He had an ideal relationship with the state government,” Kumar added.

The chief minister said Kovind had performed his duties in a “wonderful and impartial manner” and as “per the constitution. He maintained the dignity of the gubernatorial post. We will all remember him for all these.”

Read more: BJP names Bihar governor and Dalit leader Ram Nath Kovind as presidential candidate, Modi dials Sonia

Earlier in the morning, Kumar had said that the non-NDA parties would take a decision on the opposition candidate for presidential poll on June 22, if the NDA did not come up with its choice of candidates for building a consensus.

Kumar also had talks with union finance minister Arun Jaitley on the issue of presidential election on Saturday. “I got a call from Jaitley on Saturday but he too didn’t come out with the name,” said Kumar on Monday morning.

JD (U) sources, however, said that given Kumar and Kovind’s closeness and mutual respect for each other, the party was left with no option but to support the latter’s candidature.

“The party, which has been fighting for the Dalits and Mahadalits, don’t want to be cornered on this issue,” said a senior party leader.

First Published: Jun 19, 2017 18:31 IST