May 27, 2018, 11:05 pm IST
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It’s Meira Kumar versus Kovind

It’s Meira Kumar versus Kovind

 Jun 22, 2017

To match the NDA alliance’s surprise selection of the Presidential candidate of Ram Nath Kovind, the opposition UPA alliance, after intense discussions and consultations with allies had finally chosen Mrs. Meira Kumar as the combine candidate for the post. Mrs. Kumar, a former Speaker of the Lok Sabha and daughter of Jagjivan Ram, veteran Congress leader, is thus an apt choice.

Carrying all the partners along has been part of the problem, and zeroing down on the denominational configuration is another factor. The regional and sectional interests had to be kept in mind. But the NDA’ need to select a Dalit candidate has made their task that much easier. They now have selected a matching person who also belongs to this denomination.

Here also the NDA’s task has been cut out. The combine has many eminent persons to choose from, but, Mrs. Kumar had also the added advantage of her gender. And she had been a distinguished member of the Indian Foreign Service. She is also more experienced and has the finesse to get along with all factions and groups. So that has been a good choice for the Congress and allies and must be a sure bet to provide a good fight.

Mrs. Kumar also has the added advantage of a pan-Indian image, unlike Mr. Kovind who is an unknown person outside his state, and has an appeal among the secular and non-denominational sections. These might seem trivial but with no whip and the members free to exercise their right, this might prove to be a closer contest than what pundits might predict.

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