Lucknow: Bahujan Samajwadi Party supremo Mayawati on Thursday backed the Opposition's candidate Meira Kumar for the President's post, while taking exception to NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind's association with the "narrow ideologies" of the BJP and the RSS.
"The Opposition's nominee for President's post Meira Kumar is more capable and popular than the NDA candidate," she said moments after Kumar's candidature was announced. "BSP will support Meira Kumar in the presidential election," she declared.
Mayawati said Kovind had been associated with the "narrow ideologies" of the BJP and the RSS right from the beginning. "Hence, I do not subscribe to his political background," she said in a statement issued in Lucknow. "In the new circumstances, after comparing the qualities of the two candidates it is clear that UPA candidate Meira Kumar is more capable and popular than the NDA nominee. Hence, our party declares support to Meira Kumar for the presidential poll," she said.
The Opposition on Thursday unanimously decided to field Kumar, a dalit, as its joint candidate for the presidential election against Kovind, with 17 parties supporting the former Lok Sabha speaker's candidature.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the 17 non-NDA parties in Parliament House Library, with the leaders endorsing the name of the former minister and diplomat, whose father, ex-deputy Prime Minister Jagjivan Ram, was often hailed as one of the tallest dalit leaders in the country.