Rajat Sharma

BJP May Reap Rich Dividends by Electing a Dalit as President

Ram Nath Kovind Nearly 35,000 Dalit bastis across India on Thursday celebrated Diwali after Ram Nath Kovind was elected President of India. Kovind belongs to the Dalit Koli community and the first political effect of this election will be seen in Gujarat assembly polls, where Kolis constitute 16 per cent of total votes. BJP president Amit Shah is an astute political strategist and he often keeps upcoming elections in mind before taking major decisions. The second political effect will be seen in Uttar Pradesh, from where Kovind hails. Dalits constitute a deciding factor in many constituencies of this state. It was for this reason that UP CM Yogi Adityanath on Thursday referred to Kovind as the ‘son of Uttar Pradesh’ several times. The effect will be seen in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Kovind’s election was a foregone conclusion, but the cherry on the cake was cross-voting in which legislators from various opposition parties voted in favour of Kovind. The anti-defection law does not apply in Presidential elections, and every MP and MLA is free to vote. No whips are issued by political parties.

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