Ram Nath Kovind as India’s new president: Here’s what global media is saying
New Delhi: Ram Nath Kovind’s election as the 14th President of India has been discussed in the international media as yet another success of the country’s democracy. More significantly, the focus has been on Kovind’s Dalit background and his political rise has been reported as a “rare achievement”. Besides, the reports have also highlighted the victory as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “potential move” to woo Dalit voters in coming elections.
Here are some of the reactions from the international press on Kovind’s election as the 14th President of India:
The New York Times: A Dalit was elected India’s 14th president on Thursday, a rare achievement for a member of a community once known as “untouchables” and one of the most deprived groups in India. Ram Nath Kovind, 71, an understated politician from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party, was selected as his party’s candidate for the largely ceremonial position in an effort to secure the Dalit vote in future elections. That is a critical step in the expansion of the party, known as BJP.
The report in NYT cites Ashok Malik, an analyst at the Observer Research Foundation referring Kovind’s rise as “potential help to BJP”.
“Mr. Modi is essentially a political animal, and he’s conscious of the political impact of a potential move,” In choosing a presidential candidate, “he’s also gone for somebody who could potentially help the B.J.P.”
The Wall Street Journal: Columnist Sadanand Dhume says the country ought to pick the best person for the job, not just the most convenient politician.
Ram Nath Kovind, a 71-year-old lawyer and politician formerly with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, will take office next week as India’s 14th President.
The Guardian : India’s constitution provides a largely ceremonial role for the president, with the prime minister and his cabinet holding executive power. But the president has a key role during political crises, such as when a general election is inconclusive, by deciding which party is in the best position to form a government.
Kovind’s ascent to the highest public office is the first for a leader reared in the powerful Hindu revivalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) or National Volunteers’ Association, the ideological mentor of Hindu groups.
The Independent: A member of India’s ‘untouchable’ caste has been chosen as the country’s new president. Ram Nath Kovind, a politician backed by the ruling Hindu nationalist-led coalition, easily won India’s presidential election on Thursday, tightening the government’s hold on positions of power.
Metro: Ram Nath Kovind defeated Congress party’s Meira Kumar, who is also a Dalit, by an overwhelming majority. But the win was easy. His election was considered a certainty because of the strength of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party in the federal parliament and in the state assemblies whose members take part in a presidential election.
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