The choice of Ram Nath Kovind by Narendra Modi for NDA candidate in the election for the President of India has shocked everyone. No one had expected him to be named. His name was not find in the long list of probable enumerated by various journalists. Modi and Shah again checkmated India media by this strange choice.
The caste of Ram Nath Kovind obviously played a big role. However, there are many other factors which come into the picture. He has already proved his mettle by working with a powerful opposition leader – Nitish Kumar – in a very cordial manner. It should be noted that Nitish Kumar had opposed his appointment as the Governor of Bihar, but later found him a very learned person who can go to any length to follow constitutionalism.
Caste of Ram Nath Kovind
Ram Nath Kovind is a dalit / Scheduled Caste. It is a well-known fact. However, people want to know about his exact caste and, further, if that was also a part of the reason behind his choice.
Ram Nath Kovind belongs to Koli caste. It is also known as Kori. He was born in Kanpur Dehat where sizeable number of Kori can be found. There is lots of confusion about Koli and Kori. UP SC Act refers it as Kori while the term Koli is mainly used in the media. Taking Koli and Kori as synonym, the real reason behind the selection of Kovind as NDA Presidential candidate emerges.
Koli is SC in UP and Uttaranchal. However, in other states, it is OBC. The most surprising fact is Gujarat where Koli is an OBC caste. The total vote count of Koli in Gujarat is 14% - which is only second to Patidar. If opposition parties were pinning hope on disenchantment among Patidars/Patels from BJP, they may find another reason to get headache; that is Ram Nath Kovind.
Ram Nath Kovind as the President will surely help BJP electorally in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. It will also help it gain Dalit votes in UP. And, it will also give BJP leaders to woo Dalit votes throughout India.
It must be noted here that Ram Nath Kovind was also once the President of All India Koli Samaj.