The Congress on Thursday hoped President-elect Ram Nath Kovind will uphold the traditions of democracy with its chief Sonia Gandhi saying the president is the “conscience keeper” of the Constitution of India.
The Congress party while congratulating Kovind also hoped that the president-elect would defend the nation and its people against any attack on democracy, fundamental rights and everything that the Constitution stands for. Opposition presidential candidate Meira Kumar who lost the election to Kovind, cautioned him of the task to uphold the Constitution in the present “challenging” times.
Expressing her best wishes to Kovind, Gandhi said the president enjoys a unique position as defender and protector of the Constitution and upholder of democratic traditions. “The president of India enjoys a unique position as defender and protector of the Constitution, upholder of democratic traditions and as supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces,” she said in a statement.
“The president is the conscience keeper of the Constitution of India,” the Congress chief said conveying her best wishes to Kovind. Gandhi also reiterated the Congress party’s commitment to work for upholding these cherished values and established conventions which are the “intrinsic cornerstone of our Constitution”.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi also congratulated Kovind. “Congratulations Ram Nath Kovindji. Wishing you a great term as President of India,” he tweeted.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said this election was not about numbers but a “fight for our ideology and principles. This is a struggle for upholding India’s pluralism, diversity and composite culture. This is the true soul of India that we seek to defend,” he said.
Surjewala said the Congress and other opposition parties fought this election as a struggle between autocracy of one man and cumulative wisdom of many, between politics of drift and division versus cohabitation and togetherness, a fight between subjugation of democratic institutions and preservation of their innate freedom. “We hope that the new president-elect shall not only uphold these traditions but show the mirror of truth to a government drunk with arrogance of numbers,” he said.
Kumar spoke of her continuing struggle for the values and ideals including secularism, inclusiveness, total elimination of casteism, freedom of press and expression despite her defeat. “The ideology for which I fought this election does not end today, it will continue because a large number of countrymen believe in it and derive sustenance from it,” she said. The former Lok Sabha speaker polled 1,844 votes with a value of 367,314 as against Kovind’s 2,930 votes with a value of 702,044 (more than 65 per cent of votes).
Congress spokesperson Sushmita Dev said “We hope that President-elect Kovind, who will take over in next few days, will truly act as the protector of the Constitution and will defend this nation and defend the people against any attack on democracy, fundamental rights and everything that our Constitution stands for”.
Surjewala said if one examines the results more minutely, “we are happy that presidential candidate Meira Kumar holds close to 35 per cent votes. “Opposition unity has stayed intact while a government which was drunk with numbers and a Union minister who was also the agent of the winning candidate claimed that they will poll 70 per cent votes or more. The winning candidate has got about 65.66 per cent votes,” he said.