Opposition presidential candidate Meira Kumar filed her nomination on Wednesday afternoon in the presence of top Congress and other opposition leaders in Parliament. Kumar is set to contest against NDA’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind, who is also a dalit.
Kumar was flanked by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh by her side. A host of Opposition leaders including NCP’s Sharad Pawar and CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury were also present.
Kumar filed her papers with , will launch her campaign from Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat on June 30.
“For us, it is a battle of ideologies, principles and truth and we will fight it,” Sonia Gandhi said after the nomination was filed.
The Congress was represented by all its chief ministers – Amarinder Singh, Siddharamaiah, Virbhadra Singh, V Narayanasamy, Mukul Sangma – and its top leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel, Mallikarjun Kharge and Ambika Soni. Former chief ministers Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Ashok Gehlot, Digvijaya Singh attended the event as well.
Also present were CPI’s D Raja, DMK’s Kanimozhi, SP’s Naresh Agrawal, BSP’s Satish Chandra Misra, NCP’s Tariq Anwar, JMM’s Sanjeev Kumar and TMC’s Derek O’Brien and leaders of other opposition parties.
“I have filed my nomination papers as the opposition candidate for the presidential election. Along with Sonia Gandhi, leaders of 16 opposition parties were also present as were members of the electoral college….From today, our fight of ideology has started. This ideology is based on democratic values, inclusiveness in society, freedom of the press and individuals, end of poverty, transparency and destruction of caste structure,” Kumar said after filing her papers.
“There is one path which takes us towards narrow-mindedness and no concern for the poor and downtrodden, while the other path leads to upliftment of Dalits, poor, oppressed, downtrodden, women and labour and people of all religions…I have urged everyone to hear the voice of their inner conscience and take the country forward,” she added.
Kumar is scheduled to begin her campaign from Sabarmati in Gujarat. From there, she will head to other places across the country. Her campaign on July 15.
On Tuesday, Kumar had said that the July 17 presidential pollls were a battle of ideologies and not a ‘Dalit versus Dalit’ fight.
(With inputs from PTI)