New Delhi, Jun 22 : Making it a Dalit vs Dalit battle in the Presidential election, the Opposition parties today picked former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as their candidate for India’s next President .
After a meeting of 17 Opposition parties, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said Meira Kumar’s name was selected unanimously by one and all.
He said there could not have been a better candidate for the top Constitutional post .
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who chaired the meeting, said she appeals to all secular parties – if there are any left – to support Meira Kumar .
“I am not upset with anyone,” Gandhi said .
Stating that Meira Kumar is a ‘Bihar ki beti’, RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav said he will meet Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and ask him to reconsider his decision on supporting NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind .
“It will be a historical mistake if Nitish does not rethink about his decision.
I will meet and appeal him,” Lalu said adding that only Nitish knows whether he has cheated us or not .
Nitish Kumar’s JD-U was the first one to back out of the meeting saying they will support NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind .
The move has also put his ally Lalu Yadav in a tight spot .
The Bahujan Samaj Party has also decided to support Meira Kumar .
To finalise their strategy on Presidential election and zero on a candidate for the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Opposition parties met today at Parliament House’s library .
Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh discussed the issue with Opposition leaders in the absence of Rahul Gandhi .
NCP leader Sharad Pawar proposed three names — Kumar, former Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Rajya Sabha MP Bhalchandra Mungekar, both Dalits from Maharashtra .
CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury put forward the names of Gopalkrishna Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, and Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of BR Ambedkar .
Who is Meira Kumar
Daughter of former Deputy Prime Minister and prominent Dalit leader Jagjivan Ram, Meira Kumar is a 5-time MP and was the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha from 2009 to 2014 .
A lawyer and a former diplomat, Kumar had also served as a Cabinet Minister.
Source: The Sangai Express