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Presidential Election 2017: BSP cannot take negative stand against Dalit candidate, says Mayawati

Lucknow: Hours after the NDA picked up Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind as its candidate for the post of president, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said on Monday that her party cannot take a negative stand against a Dalit nominee.

File image of Mayawati. PTI

File image of Mayawati. PTI

She, however, stopped short of expressing immediate support for Kovind saying the BSP will be positive provided the Opposition does not field any Dalit for the top post.

"The BSP's stand cannot be negative towards a Dalit nominee for the post of president. Our stand will be positive provided the Opposition does not field any Dalit for the top post," she said here.

The BSP chief, however, said it would have been better if all opposition parties were taken into confidence by the BJP-led NDA at the Centre before announcing the name of its candidate.

Kovind, a 71-year-old low profile Dalit leader, a two-term BJP Rajya Sabha member, is being seen as an astute choice by the saffron party, which has been targeted by opposition parties over Dalit issues.

His election is almost a certainty as the ruling bloc, with the support of some regional parties, enjoys a majority in the electoral college.

Kovind's choice is being seen as a political masterstroke as many parties would not like to oppose a Dalit being elected to the country's highest office.

KR Narayanan was the country's first Dalit president.

Updated Date: Jun 19, 2017 18:06 PM

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