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Opposition Chooses Meira Kumar As Its President Candidate

Amidst, all parties deciding on taking up sides as to whom to support, NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind or Opposition candidate Meira Kumar, Union minister and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan has invited Nitish Kumar to join NDA.

Congress spokesperson R.P.N Singh, however, refused to comment on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's decision to support Kovind.

Following hours-long negotiations led by the main Congress party, 72-year-old Meira Kumar was named as the opposition s nominee for the presidential polls on July 17 when Pranab Mukherjee s term ends.

Meanwhile, the opposition on Thursday nominated former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar for the highest post-India.

However, there is no doubt about the fact that Kumar's name might change the game for NDA's Ram Nath Kovind, especially in the case of garnering support from parties like BSP, which had initially shown their interest in support Kovind due to his Dalit background but soon shifted their weight behind Meira.

Reddy, accompanied by CPI national secretary Dr K Narayanana, said they hope both Patnaik and Kumar will have a rethink before casting their vote in favour of Kovind, whom they described as a "Sangha Parivar member". It was a decision taken on merit after due application of mind and full consultation within the party.

"I will meet and appeal him", Lalu said adding that only Nitish knows whether he has cheated us or not.

Earlier in the day, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind filed his nomination. Political observers are saying that Kovind's victory is not a question of "if he will win" but 'by what marging will he win?'

"I am thankful to all those who have supported me, will do everything to maintain the dignity of country's top post", Kovind said. All 17 political parties unanimously proposed the name of Meira for forthcoming Presidential elections.

More pertinent, the selection of Meira Kumar has brought Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the Janata Dal (U) under pressure.

Earlier, Yechury had put forward the name of Prakash Ambedkar, but few among the leaders seconded him.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)'s Mayawati, and Samajwadi Party (SP)'s Akhilesh Yadav did not attend the meeting but their representatives were present on the occasion.

The Congress has stepped up its efforts to keep the opposition united as its top brass held discussions with the leaders of a host of other parties after the JD-U's decision.