The joint opposition candidate Meira Kumar is likely to bag around 4 lakh votes in comparison to Kovind who is set to get around 7 lakh votes.
The coming together of archrivals BSP and SP to support the candidature of Meira Kumar as president could be a crucial step towards further consolidating anti-BJP forces in Uttar Pradesh, say political observers.
When Kovind's candidature was announced by the BJP, Uddhav Thackeray had initially said his party was against backing him if his nomination was aimed at garnering Dalit votes.
Kumar was picked by 17 non-NDA political parties as their candidate against NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind.
"Since I became the governor I do not belong to any political party," the 71-year-old former head of the BJP's Dalit Morcha -- almost certain to be the next president -- said after filing his nomination here for the post.
The 71-year-old said after filing his nomination papers that he had ceased to belong to any political party after he became governor of Bihar in 2015.
NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind on Friday filed the nomination papers for the presidential elections next month.
Besides the NDA's constituents, which comprise over 48.6 per cent of votes in the electoral college that will elect the next president, regional parties such as the AIADMK, BJD, TRS and JD(U) have announced their support to the Dalit leader, making his win an almost foregone conclusion.
Interestingly, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had yesterday stated that Sena was not interested in backing Kovind if his candidature is aimed at garnering Dalit votes.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray announced his backing at a press conference, saying Kovind is a nice personality and has done a lot of good work.
The election of Kovind, 71, as India's 14th President is a virtual certainty with several non-NDA parties too lending their support to BJP's surprise candidature of the little-known dalit activist and a former lawyer.
President Pranab Mukherjee has accepted the resignation of Kovind as the Governor of Bihar, a communique issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan said today.
When the Congress sits down with other parties on Thursday to finalise a name, there were two priorities before its leaders — to come up with something that can ace the Dalit card played by the BJP, and to keep Opposition unity intact ahead of 2019 general elections. Already BSP chief Mayawati and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar have indicated it would be difficult for them to vote against Kovind.
Even as Ram Nath Kovind was declared as the ruling BJP's candidate for President of India yesterday, dissenting voices are being heard across the political spectrum. A look at how the numbers stack up for Kovind
Addressing the 51st Foundation Day function of Sena in suburban Matunga this evening, Thackeray said his party will not back Kovind if his candidature is aimed at garnering Dalit votes.
Kovind then drove down to Shah's residence where he was greeted by senior BJP leaders. He stayed at the BJP chief's residence for nearly an hour where both are believed to have discussed the formalities related to the presidential poll.
Though Uttar Pradesh has given the nation a number of prime ministers, it will be perhaps for the first time that the politically-crucial state will have the pride of sending someone to Rashtrapati Bhavan if NDA nominee Ramnath Kovind becomes president.
Congress does not want to comment on this issue as we want to take a unanimous decision with all other opposition parties on the presidential elections.
BJP President Amit Shah on Monday announced that Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind will be National Democratic Alliance’s presidential candidate for the upcoming presidential election.
"Amit Shah called up Uddhavji after the NDA's presidential candidate was decided in the BJP's Parliamentary Board meeting. Shah sought the Sena's support for Ram Nath Kovind," Raut told reporters here.
TDP president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu hailed Kovind's candidature as "the right choice" for the highest constitutional post and pledged his party's full support to him.
According to a statement from the office of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, soon after deciding the candidature of Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Rao over phone and requested his support for the NDA's candidate.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance on Monday declared Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as its candidate for the upcoming Presidential elections.
Kovind, 71, is a Dalit leader and an experienced political hand. His candidature was unexpected given that several other names including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj were doing the rounds in the recent weeks.