Mayawati says will support 'more deserving' Meira Kumar

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], June 22 (ANI): Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Thursday extended her support to Opposition's Presidential candidate Meira Kumar, citing that the former Lok Sabha speaker is more popular and deserving than National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) nominee Ramnath Kovind. "In the meeting, the UPA and other parties have unanimously and with the mutual consent declared Meira Kumar, who is associated with the Dalit class, as the Presidential nominee. Meira Kumar is more popular and more deserving than NDA's Ramnath Kovind. This is why now our party we announce to support Meira Kumar as presidential candidate," Mayawati told ANI. Recalling her earlier assertion that NDA should have named a popular and deserving leader from Dalit background, Mayawati said, "Now after this development, I believe UPA and other parties Presidential candidate is more deserving than NDA's. This is why now my party will support Meira Kumar for the upcoming Presidential elections." "The NDA had, on June 19, unilaterally named Ramnath Kovind, a Dalit, as its Presidential candidate without consulting the Opposition parties. Reacting to this, I had said that our stand will never be negative towards Kovind as he comes from a Dalit background, but had also said that NDA should have named a popular and deserving leader from Dalit background," she added. She further said that her party was never in favour of Kovind's political affiliation with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and asked for a non-political person with a Dalit background for the coveted post. The BSP supremo had earlier said that her party's stand towards Kovind would never be negative as he was from Dalit background. "We have known Ramnath Kovind since ages as he has been associated with the BJP and the RSS as well. Also he comes from a Dalit background, so our stand will never be negative towards him, but will stay positive forever. It would have been better had NDA taken all the Opposition parties in 'good faith' before announcing the name." Earlier, Congress president Sonia Gandhi announced former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar as the Opposition' Presidential nominee. She further appealed to the other parties to support the decision. The Opposition - Congress and the Communist Party of India (CPI), and other parties - decided to meet on Thursday to discuss the National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) decision on Presidential nominee Ramnath Kovind. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had earlier said that the Opposition was a divided house over the Presidential elections as many of its partners have extended support to ruling NDA candidate. BJP president Amit Shah had announced the name of Kovind as NDA's consensus candidate for the post of Indian President. (ANI)