Shillong, July 5: Opposition presidential candidate, Meira Kumar on Wednesday said it was for the first time that the upcoming presidential election has been turned into a “battle of ideology” as there is a move to “communalize” and disturb the secular fabric of the country.
“There is a definite move to communalize in the name of what food one should eat, what one should see, how one should live and conduct,” Kumar said while addressing Meghalaya legislators in the Congress-ruled state during her campaign for the presidential election.
Apart from Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and his team from the ruling Congress-led coalition, the meeting was also attended by Leader of Opposition Donkupar Roy, who is also leader of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP).
Lambasted the ruling NDA government for lacking actions on the ground, the former Lok Sabha Speaker, said, “Although the leaders like to distance themselves, but I fail to understand how the tremendous majority in Parliament and given their hold in the Government, they are only talking and trying to distance themselves but no action is seen on the ground.”
She said that the need to contest against the NDA presidential nominee has arisen because the atmosphere in the country has begun to threaten the secular fabric of the country.
“It has challenged and is exceedingly putting in danger the communal harmony, social justice, inclusiveness, transparency and all that we have been standing for and held dear,” she said.
Stating that this is a chance to make history and act in the best interest of the country, Meira said, “I have appealed to the members of the collegiums to listen to their inner voice.”
According to her, the inner voice of conscience carries more weight than numbers when people decide on moral ground and on grounds of principles and ethics and philosophy.
Stating that India is a vast country with so many religions, ethnic groups, cultures, she said those in power should always promote this harmony and not to disrupt it.
“That is why, 17 opposition political parties with differences on other issues got together on this particular issue by contesting against the NDA nominee,” she claimed.
The NDA has put up former Bihar Governor, Ram Nath Govind as candidate for the presidential election to be held on July 17.
The former Lok Sabha Speaker also remarked, “It is encouraging to find the Leader of Opposition with us. I am grateful the House is with us. People are with us and with our ideology that we are following.”
Meanwhile, opposition Hill State People Democratic Party (HSPDP) having 4 MLAs and National People’s Party (NPP), which is an NDA ally at the centre, having 2 members, did not attend Kumar’s campaign.
Out of 2 members, Congress coalition partner – the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sanbor Shullai also skipped the campaign.
Some Congress ministers like Prestone Tynsong, Ampareen Lyngdoh, HDR Lyngdoh, Roshan Warjri did not attend the meeting.
Rajya Sabha MP, Wansuk Syiem and Lok Sabha MP from Shillong, Vincent H. Pala did not accompany the presidential nominee.