Ram Nath Kovind as Prez: BJP's last hope to bring Dalits under its umbrella

IANS July 22, 2017 Last Updated at 12:15 IST

Only the naive will believe that the elevation of a Dalit, Ramnath Kovind, as the President is of seminal importance either for the community or for the party which chose him.

For one, the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) nominee is not the first Dalit to adorn the post. K R Narayanan was there before him with the Congress's support.

For another, these elevations no longer make the kind of impact on the electoral scene which is expected by the sponsors of such candidates. Just as A P J Abdul Kalam's selection by the BJP has not made the Muslims come flocking to its door, Kovind's choice will be seen for what it really is — a cynical exercise which is more indicative of political calculations than of genuine interest in Dalit welfare.

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