India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday (June 19) named Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as its presidential candidate.
Pertinently, President Pranab Mukherjee’s term will end on July 24.
The Election Commission has announced that the presidential polls will be held on July 17. Counting of votes will be done on July 20.
Here are 10 things you need to know about BJP’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind:
1. Ram Nath Kovind was born on Oct 1, 1945 in a Dalit, farmer family at Kanpur Dehat district in Uttar Pradesh.
2. Ram Nath Kovind is an advocate by profession and practices in the Supreme Court.
3. He was the president of BJP Dalit Morcha during 1998-2002.
4. The Dalit politician was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh twice – 1994-2000 and 2000-2006.
5. He has also served as the president of All India Koli Samaj, and has also been SC/ST representative at IIM-Calcutta (Indian Institutes of Management-Calcutta).
6. In October 2002, Ram Nath Kovind represented India at the United Nations and addressed the General Assembly in New York.
7. The 71-year-old leader donated his ancestral house as baraatghar or community house of his native village in Kanpur.
8. Ram Nath Kovind failed twice to crack the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) entrance test. Though he succeeded in his third attempt, he did not join duty as he was selected for an allied service. Instead, he continued practicing law.
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9. Before joining the BJP, IN 1977, Ram Nath Kovind was the private secretary of the-then prime minister Morarji Desai.
10. He was appointed the Governor of Bihar on Aug 8, 2015 by President Pranab Mukherjee.
But the appointment ran into a controversy when state chief minister Nitish Kumar raised a complaint that he was not informed about the development in advance and hence his appointment was against constitutional rules.
Pic credit: Governor’s Secretariat, Bihar
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.