New Delhi : Terming it a contest between two ideologies and not individuals, the Opposition’s presidential candidate and former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha on Wednesday said that the leaders of the other ideology are intent on throttling the Constitution and “Making a mockery of the people’s mandate in elections.”
If elected, he said, “I shall not allow the independence and integrity of democratic institutions to be weaponised against political opponents, as is happening now.”
“The ongoing attacks on the federal structure of the Constitution, whereby the government is attempting to rob the state governments of their legitimate rights and powers, will be treated as totally unacceptable. I shall also use the authority of my office to check the menacing power of ill-gotten money that is killing the soul of Indian democracy and making a mockery of people’s mandate in elections,” Sinha told media persons here.
A dozen-odd opposition parties declared Sinha as their candidate on Tuesday, the same day the BJP declared Draupadi Murmu as its candidate for the post of the President, elections for which are due on July 18.
“This is not a contest between individuals. But this is a battle between two opposing ideologies. Leaders of one ideology are hell bent on throttling the Constitution. They believe India’s Rashtrapati should not function with a mind of her/his own and should merely serve as a rubber stamp to do the government’s bidding,” Sinha said, adding that “I am proud to belong to the other ideology that is determined to save the Constitution and the Republic.”
He stated that if elected, he will conscientiously uphold, without fear or favour, the basic values and guiding ideals of the Indian Constitution, “In particular, as a custodian of the Constitution, I shall not allow the light of democracy and secularism to be dimmed by the executive.”
Sinha said that after filing his nomination papers on June 27, he plans to begin his campaign by visiting as many state capitals as possible to meet or speak with the leaders as well as the MPs and MLAs of all the political parties to seek their support.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, who had announced Sinha’s candidature on Tuesday on behalf of the opposition parties after their combined meeting, had said that Sinha would be forming a campaign committee. The committee would be formed when Sinha files his nomination papers on June 27.
June 29 is the last date for filing the nomination for the Presidential poll and voting will take place on July 18. Counting of votes will be on July 21.
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