YSR Congress to support Ram Nath Kovind's candidature

He headed the BJP's Dalit wing for three years from 1999.

"In order to support someone, we must know the person".

"This is not the final decision.I can not say much in this matter as we have an all-political party meeting on June 22".

"If anybody had reservations about Bhagwat, then we suggested Swaminathan for the benefit of the farmers of the country".

Thackeray said at the Sena's 51st foundation day.

"Modiji has spoken to the country's opposition Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and apprised them of the BJP's choice", he added.

The election for the next President of India is to be held on July 17 as President Pranab Mukherjee will demit the office on July 25. It has announced its presidential candidate.

Putting all speculation to rest, the BJP on Monday announced senior Uttar Pradesh leader and Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit, as its nominee for the Presidential poll.

"The Shiv Sena is not interested in the presidential election if you are going to field a candidate only because he belongs to the Dalit community".

Mamata Banerjee's All India Trinamool Congress has already rejected the candidate.

"So, we said the opposition will meet and take a decision on June 22". Others like Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) has expressed happiness over Kovind's nomination, but has stopped short of backing Kovind.

When asked why the names of Sushma Swaraj or Sumitra Mahajan were not considered, party leaders remain mum but refuse to acknowledge that Kovind's Dalit credentials are the only reason why he was chosen.

"So far as the NDA nominee is concerned, the Congress has nothing to say on the merits or demerits".

"I will refrain from making any statement until I have had the opportunity to meet with all the members of the Grand Alliance which is scheduled to take place on June 22 in Delhi", Yadav told the reporters in Patna. "They did inform us but only after they had decided on the name", he said and termed the outreach by the BJP as a "formality".

Shah had announced the name of Kovind as NDA's consensus candidate for the post of Indian President. He has called a meeting of Sena leaders on Tuesday to discuss it.

He also called on BJP president Amit Shah.

Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani said, "When there were riots in Gujarat in 2002, BJP had made a Muslim, APJ Abdul Kalam, the President". "No political party should think that it is going to win every election.The situation in the state is fast changing".

India's prime minister wields most of the executive power, but the president can send back some parliamentary bills for reconsideration and also plays a guiding role in the process of forming governments.