The contest between Droupadi Murmu and Yashwant Sinha in the coming Presidential elections has become the latest flashpoint between the Congress and the BJP. A Congress leader has accused the BJP's Amit Malviya of circulating a "doctored video", which included part of his comments to news agency ANI. Tweeting it, Mr Malviya had accused the Congress leader of "calling her evil by association". Dr Ajoy Kumar hit back with the full video.
"At a time when the NDA, led by PM Modi, has announced Smt Draupadi Murmu, a woman from Adivasi samaj, as it's nominee for the President's office, a move that will significantly empower the Tribals, Congress leader calls her evil by association! Just because she is a Tribal. Shame," read Mr Malviya's tweet.
At a time when the NDA, led by PM Modi, has announced Smt Draupadi Murmu, a woman from Adivasi samaj, as it's nominee for the President's office, a move that will significantly empower the Tribals, Congress leader calls her evil by association! Just because she is a Tribal. Shame pic.twitter.com/qmNAiYYpC3— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) July 13, 2022
As his video was retweeted by multiple BJP leaders, Dr Kumar hit back.
"I have always said Murmu is a good woman. Issue is with NDA's views, that is what I commented on. Amit Malviya is BJP IT cell in-charge and is sending doctored video. A one-minute video has been cut to 17 seconds and misrepresented. We will tackle this issue legally," ANI quoted him as saying.
The Congress leader, who is in charge of three northeastern states – Sikkim, Tripura and Nagaland – all of which have a chunk of tribal population, also tweeted a response.
"1st sack Mr Malviya for doctored video.1.Smt Draupadi Ji is a good person I have said that and maintained. 2.The RSS-BJP is a 'Poisonous philosophy is also true. Sardar patel banned them. 3.Why BJP opposed the candidature of KR Narayanan? Are you anti SC by this logic?" his post read.
Here is the linkhttps://t.co/rQcpDsmIOL— Dr. Ajoy Kumar (@drajoykumar) July 13, 2022
Droupadi Murmu, a tribal from Odisha who is also the former Governor of Jharkhand, is apparently way ahead of the opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha in the Presidential race.
Counting the parties that have pledged to support her, she can expect more than 60 per cent of the electoral college votes.
The list includes Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United. The Shiv Sena faction led by Uddhav Thackeray also pledged its support yesterday.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren is likely to announce his decision soon. With Ms Murmu being a former Governor from is state, he is widely expected to support her candidature.
No whip, however, can be issued for the Presidential elections. The MPs and MLAs are allowed to vote as they please.