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 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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