Narendra Modi does not fail to surprise. On Monday the BJP announced on Monday that their candidate for the next President of India will be Ram Nath Kovind, the Governor of Bihar.
While Modi had already made up his mind, there were various names that came up for consideration during the BJP's parliamentary board meeting on Monday. During the deliberations, the names of Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and even T C Ghelot were proposed by members of the party.
However Modi made it clear that he wanted his cabinet to remain strong. Sparing any of these leaders in the race to Rashtrapati Bhavan would only weaken his cabinet. He even cited the departure of Manohar Parrikar who quit the post of Defence Minister to become the Chief Minister of Goa. Modi also cited the passing away of Anil Madhav Dave and said that it was a huge loss.
The other names that cropped up were that of Sumitra Mahajan, Murli Manohar Joshi and also L K Advani. However there was not enough traction following which the names were dropped.
The other names that figured in the discussions were that of Jharkhand Governor, Draupadi Murmu and deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha, Karia Munda. BJP chief even proposed the name of Uttar Pradesh Governor, Ram Naik. However the final decision to select Kovind got the most traction at the meet as all felt that it could be a good strategy to woo the Dalit community.