As voting took place today for India's new President, opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha urged political parties to vote for him "to save democracy" and said he was fighting against government agencies too.
"This election is very important and will set the path for the country's democracy, whether it will stay or not. I hope all political parties vote in my favour to save democracy and protect the Constitution," Yashwant Sinha said.
He appealed to parliamentarians and legislators across the country to listen to their "inner voice" and support him. " This is a secret ballot. I appeal to all MPs and MLAs to use their discretion and elect me to save democracy," he said.
Mr Sinha is in the presidential race against NDA's Droupadi Murmu, who is expected to win the election easily to become India's 15th President. The counting of votes will be held on July 21 and the new President will take oath on July 25.
"I am not just fighting a political battle, but a fight against government agencies too. They have become too powerful and there is also a game of money involved," Mr Sinha said.
On Sunday, Yashwant Sinha posted a statement on Twitter urging lawmakers to elect him in the crucial election. He said that he stands for safeguarding India's democracy, while Droupadi Murmu is "supported by those who are mounting daily attacks on democracy."
"I stand for protecting secularism, a preambular pillar of our Constitution. My rival candidate belongs to a party that has made no secret of its resolve to destroy this pillar and establish majoritarian supremacy," the statement said.
"I stand for encouraging politics of consensus and cooperation. My rival candidate is backed by a party that practices politics of conflict and confrontation," it added.
My appeal to all members of the electoral college ahead of the Presidential election tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/27JVgwC8ZN— Yashwant Sinha (@YashwantSinha) July 17, 2022
Mr Sinha reiterated that the presidential election is not about the two candidates, but it's a contest between two ideologies.
Yashwant Sinha, a former bureaucrat and a union minister during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, was named as the joint candidate for the presidential election on June 21.