Ram Nath Kovind, with gubernatorial experience as Governor of Bihar, chosen as National Democratic Alliance’s Presidential nominee; is a low profile, self-made man, a trained lawyer, a Dalit from humble background, has a clean slate and while in active politics had been above controversy; whose habits of diligently working for social welfare make him stand out among leaders that makes him an ideal candidate for Rashtrapati Bhavan. He was elected as a Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh in 1994 and served for two consecutive terms for 12 years till March, 2006. He represented India in the United Nations in New York and addressed United Nations General Assembly in October, 2002. He is known for his work in the field of education, has served as a member on the board of management of the Dr B R Ambedkar University, Lucknow, and was a member of the board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata. Presently, Pranab Kumar Mukherjee is the 13th President of India since 25 July 2012 and his term expires on 25 July 2017.
- Ram Nath Kovind was born on October 1, 1945 in Kanpur Dehat (Rural) district of Uttar Pradesh, is married to Savita in 1974, has a son and a daughter.
- His face doesn’t grab airtime. His comments do not court controversy and his actions seldom make news
- A commerce graduate studied law at Kanpur University, practiced as an advocate in the Delhi high court and the Supreme Court for 16 years until 1993; and provided free legal aid to weaker sections, especially the SC/ST women, and poor and needy girls under the aegis of the Free Legal Aid Society in Delhi.
- He was also the Central government’s standing counsel in the apex court from 1980-93.
- During his parliamentary tenure, he emphasized on development of basic infrastructure for education in rural areas and helped in the construction of school buildings in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand under MPLAD (Member of Parliament Local Area Development) Scheme.
- He has served as a member of several parliamentary committees, including the Parliamentary Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Tribes, Parliamentary Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment, among others.
- As a Member of Parliament, he visited Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, France, United Kingdom and the USA.
- He joined a stir by SC/ST employees when in 1997 certain orders were issued by the Centre which adversely affected their interests. These orders were later declared null and void after the passage of three amendments in the Constitution during the rule of the first NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
- A crusader for the rights of weaker sections, champion of the scheduled caste, scheduled tribe, OBC, minority and women’s rights from his student days; he has been drawn more to the politics of social empowerment of Dalits and other weaker sections than the plank of religion.
- He headed BJP Dalit Morcha from 1998 to 2002, and led the All-India Koli Samaj.
- Known for his organizational skills he is a former national spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party.
- Largely seen as an affable man, he has had a quiet innings as the 36th Governor of Bihar, a post that he took up on August 08, 2015 months before the last assembly elections held in the state.
- It is an acknowledgement of his non-confrontational conduct that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has lavished praise on Kovind, saying he had done ‘exemplary work’ as Governor.
Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit leader from the Koli community in Uttar Pradesh, is articulate and coherent in his addresses and fluent in both the languages of Hindi and English; echoes the thoughts of Dr. BR Ambedkar when he talks about women empowerment in the country. In other speeches he talks about the importance of books and libraries in the world and talks quite extensively about youth power and how to exploit effectively the demographic dividend in the country.