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Above: Ram Nath Kovind (fourth from left) accompanied by PM Narendra Modi (third from left), BJP president Amit Shah (fifth from left), senior BJP leaders LK Advani (second from left) and MM Joshi (extreme left) during the filing of nomination papers for presidential election. Photo: UNI   

Ram Nath Kovind, former Bihar governor and now the presidential candidate for the NDA filed his nomination papers on June 23. Along with him were Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and veteran BJP leaders LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi.

The BJP made it a huge publicity issue, bringing in all chief ministers (except Manohar Parrikar from Goa) of BJP ruled states. Also present were Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, those supporting the BJP candidate.

Absent from this group was Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

Kovind tried to distance himself from party politics, even though he was visibly the BJP’s man of the hour. He said he did not belong to any party the day he became governor. “Ever since I became Governor, I don’t belong to any political party. The post of President is above party politics. I am thankful to everybody for their support,” he told the media. “I will do my best to maintain the dignity of the high office of the President.”

—India Legal Bureau

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