As Meira Kumar Files Nomination, Sonia Gandhi Delivers A Message

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has pitched the Presidential election that pits the opposition's Meira Kumar against the NDA's Ram Nath Kovind as a battle of ideology, principles and the truth.

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Congress president Sonia Gandhi by her side, Meira Kumar files her nomination for the presidential polls


NEW DELHI: Meira Kumar, the joint opposition's candidate for President filed her nomination papers for the July 17 presidential election on Wednesday that Congress president Sonia Gandhi also called a battle of ideology and principles. "For us, it is a battle of ideology, principles and the truth, and we will fight for it," Ms Gandhi said. The Congress president's comments came after Meira Kumar - fielded against the ruling BJP-led national alliance's nominee Ram Nath Kovind - filed a set of four nomination papers before the Lok Sabha Secretary General.

Meira Kumar will begin her campaign from Friday; her first stop will be Gujarat where she will go to Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad.

Supported by 17 opposition parties, the former Lok Sabha Speaker's selection has been seen to be a counter to the BJP picking a Dalit leader Mr Ram Nath Kovind to contest the election. But Ms Kumar has been quick to counter this perception, saying it was unfortunate that such narrow, divisive ideology was being spread. It was in this context that she had pitched the presidential election as "a battle of ideology".

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi picked on this theme too. In a tweet, Mr Gandhi, who is abroad and is expected to return to the country this month-end tweeted that Ms Kumar represented "the values that bind us as a nation and people" against the 'ideology of divisiveness".
 
But Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu who was also at the same venue minutes before the opposition candidate reached parliament house to file her nominations wondered what the "battle of ideology" was all about. "There is no ideology in this fight. it is about the post of President which is a constitutional post," he said.

The minister, who is also Mr Kovind's election agent, said their candidate was comfortably placed and had wide support from several chief ministers including Bihar's Nitish Kumar, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, Biju Janata Dal and the two factions of the AIADMK.

The BJP and its allies, along with regional parties who have offered support have over 60 per cent of the vote and Mr Kovind is expected to win the presidential election with ease.

Meira Kumar had yesterday appealed to lawmakers who elect the President to follow their "inner conscience" when voting and called "freedom of press, social justice and the destruction of the caste structure" at the core of the ideology that had united the opposition parties.


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