India’s presidential elections – In search of elusive consensus

On June 19th the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced that Mr. Ram Nath Kovind, the Governor of Bihar, would be their candidate for the President of India. Large segments of the media immediately termed the nomination of Mr. Kovind — a Dalit (oppressed caste) with very humble beginnings — as a political “master-stroke” from the Indian Prime Minister (PM), Narendra Modi. While senior ruling BJP leaders held conversations with various political parties prior to the announcement, there was also an opinion that the ruling alliance did not genuinely work for a consensus on the Presidential candidate.

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