Keep principles in mind and vote: Meira

Keep principles in mind and vote: Meira

Keep principles in mind and vote: Meira

Opposition Presidential candidate Meira Kumar has joined the battle for the top post against NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind, and highlighted her experience and capability to take on her rival.

In a statement on Friday, Meira appealed to the electoral college, which consists of Members of Parliament and all state legislators, to choose the next President in keeping with the principles of “inclusiveness, social justice and pluralism”.

A day after she was chosen by 17 Opposition parties as their candidate against Kovind, she said the President’s post carries the responsibility of safeguarding and defending constitutional principles.

“It embodies the diversity of our socio-political culture and the vision of our composite ideology. It transcends the considerations of caste, religion or region,” she said.

“The post is not symbolic. It articulates, in the fullest sense, the basis of our electoral philosophy — that capability and experience must always supersede all other considerations,” she said.

The former Lok Sabha Speaker said, “The values I hold dear — inclusiveness, social justice and pluralism — are the values the President must uphold as the supreme representative of our nation.”

Meira will file her nomination papers on June 27. She also expressed gratitude to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and “the esteemed leaders of the 17 political parties for their unanimous decision to nominate me as the Presidential candidate. It is indeed an honour”. The Opposition had announced that she will be their joint candidate against Kovind, who has the backing of the BJP’s NDA allies and other parties, including JD(U), TDP, TRS and the two factions of AIADMK.