The opposition met yesterday to discuss the National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) decision to field Kovind as their presidential nominee, following which they announced their candidate in the form of Meira Kumar.
On Thursday, Nitish Kumar indicated that JD (U) would continue to back Ram Nath Kovind and that Meira Kumar was been set up to lose by the Opposition.
The Bahujan Samaj Party has also made a decision to support Meira Kumar.
The Opposition that was rallying around the candidature of former West Bengal Governor Gopal Gandhi had to change track after the BJP, nearly triumphantly, announced Ram Nath Kovind as its presidential candidate. His enthusiasm for Meira Kumar's candidature is driven by his desire to be at the forefront of any opposition to the BJP.
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He said it was Kumar who had initiated the unity move in the opposition but he suddenly lent his support to the NDA candidate.
Asked why his party is supporting Kovind and not Congress leader Meira Kumar, who is a Dalit leader from Bihar and the Opposition nominee, JD (U) leader KC Tyagi said, "We are supporting Kovind due to his conduct as the Governor of Bihar. As they say, let the best man or woman win, and in this particular case, clearly the NDA and our allies have the numbers", she told ANI. However, nearly all other Opposition leaders agreed on the former Speaker's name.
"Her (Meira Kumar) stature is high and has been the speaker, minister and Lok Sabha member".
"We will meet Nitish Kumar and appeal to him to support Bihar's daughter", Lalu said.
But Prasad's hopes of any U-turn by Nitish Kumar were quickly dashed with the JD (U) rejecting his request to reconsider its support to Kovind, saying its stand is based on merit and it will stick with Kovind.
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17 parties were present in the Opposition's meeting and they agreed on Meira Kumar's name.
"I appeal to all members of the electoral college for support", Kovind said.
He said the JD (U) took the decision after considering all aspects and the election for the top office should not be a matter of confrontation.
A top source said it was pointed out to Mr Pawar that the presidential polls were a litmus test for a larger alliance ahead of the 2019 general election. Speaking to TNT -The Northeast Today, CPI-M state secretary Bijan Dhar said that all left parties had an ideological battle to fight with BJP and their Hindutva masters - the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha. As per the existing political equation, Kovind is guaranteed to get more than 61 per cent of the vote, and the final tally may increase depending on how some still-undecided regional parties vote.
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