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Presidential polls: All eyes now on Bihar CM Nitish Kumar

Although Nitish has been non-committal over his party’s support to the NDA nominee, he is known to enjoy a good personal rapport with governor Ram Nath Kovind.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jun 20, 2017, 08.27 AM IST
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In 2012, Kumar, who was then part of NDA, had supported UPA’s presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee.
NEW DELHI: All eyes are now on Bihar CM Nitish Kumar whose role in the presidential polls would be worth watching.

Although he has been non-committal over his party’s support to the NDA nominee, he is known to enjoy a good personal rapport with governor Ram Nath Kovind.

In 2012, Kumar, who was then part of NDA, had supported UPA’s presidential nominee Pranab Mukherjee.

So, it was not surprising to see Kumar paying a visit to the Raj Bhavan soon after the announcement of Kovind’s name on Monday. Although Kumar described his meeting with the governor as a “courtesy call”, he could not hide his happiness over Kovind being chosen as the presidential candidate.

Those who closely track Kumar’s strategies felt it would not be surprising if Kumar initiates efforts to work on a consensus to support Kovind for the President’s post.

“He runs a regional party. Regional parties have their own aspirations in politics. Kovind’s candidature suits his party’s interest in Bihar. However, his support for Kovind’s candidature depends on the choice of the opposition bloc for the president’ post,” a source close to Kumar told ET on phone.

Another factor which goes in favour of Kovind is his personal popularity among MLAs in Bihar.

“In his capacity as Governor, Kovind has started a tradition of inviting MLAs for breakfast during the budget session of the state assembly. He interacts with MLAs on such occasions and hears them. MLAs are invited for breakfast region-wise on different days during the budget session,” another source added.

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