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Am not in presidential race: Nitish Kumar

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Patna, Jun 13: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday categorically said he is not in the race in the July presidential election setting to rest speculations on it.

Nitish Kumar

“I am not in the race to become the country's next president, nor am I going anywhere. Such reports are unfounded and are mere speculations,” he said to queries by scribes on the sidelines of his weekly public outreach programme. .

The election for the country's highest constitutional post will be held on July 18 and the counting for it will take place on July 21.

"I repeat I am not in the race to become the country’s next president,” was his curt reply when asked to comment on Bihar Rural Development Minister Shrawan Kumar comment on his being a worthy candidate for the post,

Immediately after announcement of the schedule for the presidential poll on June 9, Shrawan Kumar, who is also a senior JD(U) leader, had said Nitish Kumar has all the abilities required for being president.

He had also said "Being a Bihari, I wish that Nitish Kumar will become president of India" and though he is not in the race "Every person would want him to become the president of the country".

"He is a better candidate for the post and he can shoulder the responsibility well," the minister had insisted.

The ball for Kumar being in the presidential race was set rolling by Maharashtra leader Nawab Malik in February who said that his party, headed by Sharad Pawar was ready to support the JD(U) leader for the country's highest constitutional office if he snapped ties with the BJP.

Batting for Bihar, which he has been helming since 2015 and had done so on five previous occasions, Kumar said the alleged use of money and other corrupt practices in the recently concluded Rajya Sabha polls does not exist in the state.

"Those states where such incidents have been reported, must learn from Bihar,” he added.

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