'Better' dalit nominee makesBSP chief change her stance

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Former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi said the Congress was insulting "Bihar ki beti" (Bihar's daughter) by forcing her to take on another Dalit candidate.

Paswan said that even the people of Bihar are angry with Nitish Kumar for being in contact with a corrupt party and invited him to join BJP-led coalition.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said on Friday that the Opposition parties fielded Meira Kumar as their presidential candidate to divide Dalits to "save their skin".

In her speeches, Kumar has said that the country's sustainable growth is not possible without ending the centuries-old exclusion of marginalized groups such as scheduled castes and tribes. When Nitish Kumar chose to extend support to the Opposition candidate earlier this week, detractors had been quick to write off the Opposition's efforts to forge a united front.

"We have taken this decision after thinking on all aspects". "We appeal to both the chief ministers of Odisha and Bihar to re-consider their decision and support a secular candidate like Meira Kumar".

Kumar, a former diplomat and daughter of the late Dalit icon Jagjivan Ram, was the unanimous choice of the 17 opposition parties that attended the meeting.

"There will be no impact of this (different views of the RJD and the JD (U)) on the Grand Alliance government in the future", Prasad said. All major political parties are supporting Kovind.

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Expressing joy over the fact that she was unanimously selected as Opposition's Presidential nominee by 17 political parties, Kumar said they are deciding on the date of filing the nomination.

An indication that JD (U) is under pressure was evident when no representative of the party was present for the filing of nominations by the NDA's Presidential candidate Kovind. Bahujan Samaj Party leader Satish Mishra, who attended the Thursday meeting, gave his party's consent to Meira Kumar.

Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh discussed the issue with Opposition leaders in the absence of Rahul Gandhi.

Earlier, Yechury had put forward the name of Prakash Ambedkar, but few among the leaders seconded him.

While these developments were happening, in U.P the arch-rival SP and BSP supported the opposition party and did not go along with JD (U) way which is with Kovind.

TMC: The All India Trinamool Congress represented by Derek O'Brien maintained its stand with the opposition.

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