"We have 17 Opposition leaders present here and all of us have chose to jointly field Meira Kumar, an IFS officer, former Union Minister and former Speaker of Lok Sabha as a candidate for the forthcoming election for the President of India", Congress president Sonia Gandhi announced after the meeting.
Another RJD leader and legislator Bhai Virendra accused the Chief Minister of thumbing his nose to the spirit of the Grand Alliance saying Nitish Kumar had betrayed the trust of the RJD and the Congress.
Asked why Gandhi was not made a candidate by the opposition for the presidential election, the CPI leader said, "We had just suggested the name of Gandhi". This made it yet another instance when Nitish has not flinched from taking a position diametrically opposite to that of the other opposition parties. Born to Indrani Devi (who was a freedom fighter) and the former Deputy Prime Minister, Babu Jagjivan Ram (a notable Dalit activist), Meira stepped into politics in 1985, with an intention to take her father's political legacy forward. "I will meet Nitish Kumar and will continue to urge him to change his decision of supporting the NDA candidate", Lalu said after attending the Opposition meeting.
"Every citizen of Telangana will remain indebted to Meira Kumar for her role in Telangana formation".
"I appeal to all members of the electoral college for support", Kovind said.
However, cracks appeared in the opposition camp after opposition Janata Dal (United)'s surprise decision yesterday to back Kovind who is also a lawyer.
"This is a fight of ideologies, no midway here".
Another BJP leader Shaina NC asserted that their nominee Ram Nath Kovind will win the Presidential Election as they have more numbers in their basket.
A top source said it was pointed out to Mr Pawar that the presidential polls were a litmus test for a larger alliance ahead of the 2019 general election.
For parties in the Opposition, supporting Kovind because he's a Dalit can no longer be the reason to second the BJP's choice.