The opposition parties will have to make every effort to ensure victory of Yashwant Sinha, their common candidate, in the presidential election, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said here on Sunday.
Sharad Pawar said if one looked at the arithmetic for the presidential election, the situation was not as bad as it was made out to be, and the opposition parties will have to make concerted efforts to put up a good fight.
The NCP chief's remarks come at a time when some opposition parties such as YSRCP and BSP have already declared support for Droupadi Murmu, the BJP-led NDA nominee in the July 18 election.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), which was part of the opposition grouping that selected Yashwant Sinha as their common candidate, was veering towards Murmu, a tribal leader of Odisha from the Santhal community.
“When we contest an election, we contest to win. When there are two candidates, both cannot win. The situation is different for each candidate. This contest is about principles. We have selected Yashwant Sinha as our common candidate and it is our responsibility to make every effort to ensure his victory. Whatever be the result, we can talk about it later,” Sharad Pawar said.
“Should we not contest elections if the numbers are stacked against us,” Sharad Pawar shot back to questions on Murmu better poised to win the July 18 elections.
The NCP chief said it was the duty of the political parties to contest elections – be it Lok Sabha or Assembly – on the basis of the principles it believed in. “We have entered the fray keeping this in mind,” Sharad Pawar said.
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and a host of opposition leaders are likely to be present in Parliament House on Monday when Yashwant Sinha will submit his nomination papers for the presidential election.