On the eve of the Presidential elections, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Sunday made a passionate appeal to the Opposition parties to fight harder in the forthcoming polls despite the numbers being stacked against them. “In these contests, numbers may be against us. But battle must be fought and fought hard,” the Congress President was quoted as saying by ANI. She was addressing a meeting of Opposition parties.
Making a veiled attack on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Gandhi called upon the opposition parties to fight against “divisive and communal vision”. “We can’t and must not let India be hostage to those who wish to impose upon it narrow-minded, divisive and communal vision,” Gandhi said.
The Congress chief also stated the constitutional posts of the President and Vice-President have come under a siege at present. “The President and Vice-President are the constitutional heads of state. Both of these are, sadly, under siege today,” she said, adding that both are entrusted to discharge duties of offices in a manner that preserves, protects, defends both Constitution and the law.
Gandhi also believes that Meira Kumar and Gopalkrishna Gandhi will give the best possible President and Vice-President to “steer society through crisis that has beset our country.”
According to the text of her speech, she said, “We must stand more aware than ever of who we are, what we fought for in our independence struggle and what future we want for ourselves.
“We must have confidence in the values we believe in. This election represents a clash of ideas, a conflict of disparate values. The election demands a vote of conscience to preserve the India that the Mahatma and that illustrious generation of freedom fighters, joined by thousands upon thousands of ordinary men and women, fought for,” she said.
The election for the next President will be held on Monday where NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind is pitted against opposition nominee and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar. The counting of votes will take place on July 20 in New Delhi. The tenure of incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee comes to an end on July 24. Meanwhile, the vice presidential poll will be held on August 5.
The electorate, which consists of elected Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members and members of state assemblies, is tilted in favour of the NDA, but the opposition has been continuously working to seek the support of some regional parties in favour of their candidate.
With ANI, PTI inputs