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Opposition picks Meira Kumar for president

NEW DELHI: Opposition parties named former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as their candidate for the next President of India on Thursday, setting the stage for a contest between two Dalit leaders on July 17.

Kumar, the daughter of former deputy prime minister Jagjivan Ram, is pitted against the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Ram Nath Kovind, who is the favourite to succeed President Pranab Mukherjee.

Still, Kumar’s candidature is being seen as a well-considered move that can bring pressure on leaders who broke ranks with the opposition over these polls, especially Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar for backing a BJP candidate and not a Dalit woman from his state.

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