Ram Nath Kovind files his nomination

New Delhi: Ram Nath Kovind, the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) presidential candidate, on Friday filed his nomination in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and chief ministers from the states led by the BJP and its allies.

“Our country with a population of 125 crore is the largest democracy. The post of President is the most dignified position. In our country, the constitution is the highest and it is our duty to uphold it. Since I took charge as governor, I have no political party. I believe, the position of President should be higher than party politics. Youth and the people of the country look up to the post with great expectations. In a few years we will celebrate 75th year of Independence, in such a time there should be development and I will work towards that," Kovind told reporters after filing his nomination.

“Today I filed my nomination. I am thankful to all those who have supported me. I want to assure everyone that I will try and maintain the sanctity of this post at all times. I appeal to all the members of the electorate for their support," he said.

Party president Amit Shah, senior leaders L.K. Advani and M.M. Joshi and senior cabinet ministers from the NDA government also accompanied Kovind.

In a show of strength, chief ministers of various states, including Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Andhra Pradesh CM N. Chandrababu Naidu and Telangana CM K.C. Rao, were also present.

The BJP on Monday announced the name of Bihar governor Kovind as its presidential candidate. Kovind, 71, who is a senior Dalit leader of the party, belongs to Uttar Pradesh and has been a two-time Rajya Sabha member.

The BJP which has a vote share of approximately 40% has the support of various parties, including Janata Dal (United), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), for Kovind’s candidature.

Setting the stage for elections, the 17 opposition parties, including Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Left parties, on Thursday announced the name of former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar to contest against Kovind.

The elections to the post are to be held on 17 July, while results will be announced on 20 July.

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