Ram Nath Kovind, a known Dalit figure in BJP circles and present Bihar governor is set to take over as the 14th President after the incumbent Pranab Mukherjee retires on July 24. Kovind, 71, will be the second Dalit, after the late K R Narayanan, to be President and the first from UP.
A non-controversial person and a respecter of protocol, Kovind, was praised by Bihar CM Nitish Kumar for playing by the book. A former chief of BJP's Dalit Morcha who was twice nominated to the Rajya Sabha before being appointed governor of Bihar after Narendra Modi's victory in 2014, Kovind is a perfect fit for the Dalit outreach that Prime Minister Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and RSS want.
It has been a story of dedication and tireless work for the organisation for him. He even donated his ancestral house in Paraunkh village in Derapur to the RSS.
Here are some facts you should know about the President waiting:
Kovind was born on October 1, 1945 at Kanpur Dehat in Uttar Pradesh.
He has Bachelor's degrees in Commerce and Law, both from Kanpur University.
Became a Rajya Sabha MP in April 1994 from Uttar Pradesh and served for two consecutive terms for 12 years until March 2006.
Advocate by profession, he was a central government advocate in the Delhi high court from 1977 to 1979 and Central Government Standing Counsel in the Supreme Court from 1980 to 1993. He became the Advocate-on-Record of the Supreme Court in 1978. He practiced in the Delhi high court and the Supreme Court for 16 years until 1993. He enrolled as an Advocate in 1971 with the Bar Council of Delhi.
Served as member on several important Parliamentary Committees such as, Parliamentary Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Tribes, Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs, Parliamentary Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas, Parliamentary Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment, Parliamentary Committee on Law and Justice. He also chaired the Rajya Sabha House Committee.
Former president of the BJP Dalit Morcha (1998-2002).
President of the All-India Koli Samaj.
Served as national spokesperson of the party.
Served as a board member at Dr. B.R Ambedkar University in Lucknow and the Indian Institute of Management in Kolkata.
Represented India in the United Nations and addressed the United Nations General Assembly in October, 2002.
Married and has a son and a daughter.
On August 8, 2015, Kovind was appointed governor of Bihar.