Ram Nath Kovind, the NDA's nominee for the post of President of India, has made headlines this morning.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has good words for the governor of his state. BJP ally LJP's chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan was quick in stating that all parties should back Kovind, "Sab ko samarthan karna chahiye, jo nahi karenge toh maana jayega ki woh Dalit virodhi hain (Everyone should support. Those who do not will be considered anti-Dalit)." BJD chief and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik pointed out that Kovind is an eminent lawyer belonging to the Scheduled Caste community and that he's perfect choice for a President who should be above politics.
While Kovind is getting a lot of love from politicians, Indian Express pointed out an ironical incident that happened just three weeks back. At the President's Shimla summer holiday resort, Kovind was denied entry.
The 71-year-old Dalit leader from Uttar Pradesh, who was appointed as the Bihar governor in 2015, was in Himachal with his family in May. As the guest of Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat, he was made to stay at the Raj Bhawan.
The two days that he spent in the hilly town, he went around looking at the iconic places.
However, when he wanted to visit The Retreat with his family, he was denied entry. He was asked to get a permission from the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Located in Chharabara, just 10 km from Shimla, The Retreat Building is the official Retreat Residence of the President of India. President Pranab Mukherjee usually spends a couple of days every summer at this place. This year, however, he had cancelled his tour owing to the Presidential polls.
But Kovind didn't throw a tantrum on being denied entry. Shashi Kant Sharma, advisor to Himachal Governor, told Indian Express that he "did not mind".
The irony is that if things go Kovind's way, he may soon be spending the summers at the same place he was denied entry, sans the permission.
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