The ruling party NDA with Narendra Modi being the Prime Minister of India after several discussions with oppositions and alliance parties laid rest to all speculations as the BJP Parliamentary Board decided to name Ram Nath Kovind as the President candidate. The announcement of his name was quite similar to the naming of Yogi Adityanath as the Chief Minister of the Uttar Pradesh which came out nowhere being seen in the race for it.
The biggest political party up against BJP, INC disclosed their presidential candidate almost a week later naming Meira Kumar to be their face for the current presidential elections.
Who is Ram Nath Kovind?
Former Bihar governor Ramnath Kovind on 20thJuly,2017 was elected as the 14th President of India.The NDA’s presidential candidate won with over 7 lakh votes against Opposition candidate Meira Kumar.
Kovind, 71, is a Dalit leader and will take oath as the 14th President of India on 25th July,2017. Kovind was born on October 1, 1945 in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur Dehat district. He came from a modest background and worked his way from the ground to the top of the political pyramid. He married Savita Kovind on 30th May, 1974. They have one son and a daughter.
Kovind is a lawyer by training. He attained his B.Com and LLB degrees from Kanpur University and had a successful career as a practicing lawyer. He served as the Central Government’s advocate in Delhi High Court between 1977 and 1979. He was also standing counsel in Supreme Court between 1980 and 1993. He was made Advocate-on-Record at the apex court in 1978 and continued his legal practice at the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court till 1993.
Kovind held key positions in parliamentary committees during his 12-year stint as a lawmaker. Besides serving as the Chairman of Rajya Sabha House Committee, he was member of Parliamentary Committees on Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Tribes; Home Affairs; Petroleum and Natural Gas; Social Justice and Empowerment; Law and Justice.
Kovind’s Political Career
Ram Nath Kovind joined the BJP in 1991.He donated his ancestral home in Derapur to the RSS.Kovind had served as the head of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s SC and ST wings and served two terms in Rajya Sabha–1994-2000 and 2000- 2006. He has also been the national spokesperson of the BJP.
A distinguished statesman and orator, Kovind has addressed the United Nations as India’s representative in 2002. Between 1977 & 1978, he also served as the personal assistant of Prime Minister of India Morarji Desai.
After his tenure in the Rajya Sabha, he was sworn-in as the 36th Governor of Bihar in August 2015. He was sent to Bihar ahead of the assembly elections. As Governor, he was praised for constituting a judicial commission to investigate irregularities in promotion of undeserving teachers, mis-management of funds and appointment of undeserving candidates in universities.
Challenges For The President
Challenge for the 2nd Dalit President Kovind is to match the political acumen, assertion and independent nature of K.R.Narayanan who was the first dalit President of India eleted in 1997. Narayanan was one of the most assertive presidents of the country who upheld constitutional values to the core. At the outset, he was the first president who exercised his franchise by standing in a queue like an ordinary citizen of the country. This can be considered as a revolutionary step in democratic politics, because presidents before him feared to be dubbed as partisan.
The particular challenge for Kovind is to cushion the pain and agony of Dalits, who have been suffering for the past three years. How will he restore the lost pride of the Dalits? Moreover, will he be able to succeed in making reforms for their effective representation in different institutions of government if he becomes president of India?