Meira Kumar files nomination for Presidential election

Meira Kumar files nomination for Presidential election
Opposition candidate Meira Kumar on Wednesday filed her nomination papers for the Presidential elections in the presence of top Opposition leaders and is set to start her campaign from Gujarat's Sabarmati Ashram.

Kumar will head to Mumbai from Gujarat and then to Bengaluru as part of her electoral fight against NDA's presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind, which she described as an “ideological” battle.

“From today, our fight for ideology starts. This is the ideology of democratic values, inclusiveness, end of poverty, transparency and destruction of caste structure,” Kumar told reporters after filing her nomination in the presence of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury among others.

Repeating her appeal to electors to listen to their “inner voice” while voting, she said they should decide whether to choose between the ideology of those opposed to Dalits and oppressed or those who stand with them and fight for them.

About her choice of Sabarmati as the starting point of her campaign, Kumar said all know the importance of the place and with whom it is associated. It is the place which is associated to Mahatma Gandhi who shook the empire through truth and non-violence and “I want to derive strength” from his ideology, she said.

Kumar reached Parliament House to file four sets of nominations after paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial Raj Ghat and her father and Dalit icon Jagjuvan Ram at Samata Sthal.

While RJD chief Lalu Prasad, SP president Akhilesh and BSP supremo Mayawati gave a miss to the function, their party representatives were with Kumar when she filed the nominations. CPI National Secretary D Raja, DMK's Kanimozhi, TMC's Derek Obrien, Congress Chief Ministers Amarinder Singh (Punjab), Siddaramaiah (Karnataka), Virbhadra Singh (Himachal Pradesh) V Narayanaswamy (Puducherry), Mukul Sangma (Meghalaya) and several MPs and leaders were also present.

Gujarat leader Sankarsinh Vaghela, who is reportedly sulking over not naming him as the face of Gujarat Congress for the upcoming polls, was also present.

“We are fighting an ideological war and not one based on caste. This is the fight between seculars and non-seculars. She will win,” Siddharamiah told DH.

Virbhadra Singh said, “don't think we are fighting a lost battle. As the contest picks up, we will consolidate.”

Asked about JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar's decision to support Kovind, Raja said, “he has decided to support an RSS-backed candidate. It is for him to justify his decision. For us, it is a serious battle.”

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