NEW DELHI: Veteran politician Yashwant Sinha on Monday asserted that the election for the President of India is not about two people but about two ideologies, as filed his nomination papers for the Presidential election in New Delhi.
The former Bharatiya Janata Party leader was accompanied by the top leaders from the opposition including Congress’ Rahul Gandhi and Nationalist Congress Party boss Sharad Pawar.
Along with Gandhi and Pawar, CPI leader D Raja, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, J&K National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and members of other opposition parties were also present on the occasion.
Later in the day, the former minister of the Vajpayee government, who was a vice-president in Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress before quitting the post to contest the election, said that he is fighting the election to save India and India’s constitution.
“I am fighting this election to save India and India’s constitution. This election is not about two people. I have great personal regard for Draupadi Murmu. It is not about where we come from or the people that we represent. This is an election between two ideologies,” the octogenarian said in a statement after filing his nomination. “Their ideology wants to crush us Indians and our democracy. Our ideology wants to free us and strengthen our democracy,” he added.
Blaming the current BJP government, the former BJP member said, “The ruling party is contemptuous of our Constitution which limits executive power to its proper place; their goal is to exercise absolute, unchecked power. They do not believe in democracy and it shows. Every single institution in this country is being corrupted and weakened to maintain its hold over the system.”
“The Cabinet has become a shell. Parliament has been made a rubber stamp. Laws are rushed through the system without any scrutiny or debate. Supreme Court judges are first compromised and then rewarded. Crucial cases are not heard and are continuously delayed. The Election Commission, the Reserve Bank of India, the CBI, the Enforcement Directorate, and the CAG, all are being misused. The Centre has launched multiple attacks on the Federal Structure of the Constitution, robbing states of their legitimate powers,” he alleged.
Echoing the sentiments, Gandhi said, “The (Presidential) poll is a battle of ideologies. RSS’s ideology of anger and hatred and our ideology of compassion for all.” “All opposition parties are united behind Yashwant Sinha. We are standing together,” he added.
Meanwhile, the opposition parties have formed an 11-member committee to steer the nationwide campaign for Sinha. The committee included Jairam Ramesh (Congress), Tiruchi Siva (DMK), Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC), Sitaram Yechury (CPI(M)), Dr Ramgopal Yadav (SP), Praful Patel (NCP), Ranjit Reddy (TRS), Dr Manoj Jha (RJD) and Sudheendra Kulkarni. Embattled Shiv Sena is yet to name its member for the committee.
Despite the united stand, there appears to be a crack in the opposition unity with Congress alliance partner Jharkhand Mukti Morcha didn’t send any representative for Sinha’s nomination. It is learnt that the party is considering support for Murmu, a tribal. Also, there was no representative from the Aam Aadmi Party.
Earlier on June 24, NDA candidate Draupadi Murmu also filed her nomination papers for the Presidential polls.
During her nomination Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah and several other top leaders were also present.