Presidential polls: I am a fighter, not a scapegoat in the race, says Meira Kumar

To a question on her not having the support of enough lawmakers, Meira Kumar said she was fighting the poll on values and principles which were "sacred" to the people of the country. She also said it was "shameful" that election was being painted as Dalit vs Dalit.

By: PTI | Bengaluru | Updated: July 1, 2017 6:07 pm
Meira Kumar, Presidential election 2017, Presidential election Meira Kumar, Presidential election Ram Nath Kovind, Indian express, India news, Latest news Former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar (PTI Photo)

Meira Kumar, the opposition’s presidential nominee, on Saturday asserted that she was not a “scapegoat” in the upcoming election to the country’s top constitutional post as she was fighting for an ideology. “Anybody fighting for an ideology and appealing to the voice of conscience cannot be a scapegoat. I am a fighter and I will fight and I am sure that many will join me in this fight,” she said in response to a question whether she was being made a scapegoat in the presidential election. Union minister and Republican Party of India (RPI) leader Ramdas Athawale had on Friday took a jibe at the Congress saying it was using Kumar as a “scapegoat” by fielding her as the opposition candidate in the July 17 presidential election.

Kumar, a former Lok Sabha speaker and the daughter of iconic Dalit leader Jagjivan Ram, was speaking to reporters after meeting the Congress MPs and MLAs at the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee office here. Seventeen opposition parties have fielded Kumar as their joint candidate in the presidential election against NDA’s nominee Ram Nath Kovind.

To a question on her not having the support of enough lawmakers, Kumar said she was fighting the poll on values and principles which were “sacred” to the people of the country. “Wherever I go, people tell me that I do not have the numbers. If I do not have the numbers, why don’t you round up the figures and declare the results? Why have the elections?,” she wondered. Pointing out that she launched her campaign from the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat, Kumar said, “I am carrying forward those values and principles which are sacred to most of my countrymen and women.

“Someone has to take them up. I am taking up your fight also….you want me to withdraw? Do you want me to get defeated? I am simply fighting.” Kumar also met former prime minister and Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H D Deve Gowda and sought his party’s support to her candidature.

Asked about the presidential poll turning into a “Dalit contest”, she said it was “shameful” that a supreme election to the post of president was being painted in this manner. “We have to come out of this mentality….even in 2017, people with high qualifications are talking about castes. When both the sides had fielded candidates from higher castes in the past, no one discussed about it. We were not even aware of their castes. We were only aware of their accomplishments, experience and capabilities and only those things were discussed.

“When the contest is between me and Kovind, our caste is being discussed and there is no other talk. Where are we today? Where are we heading?,” she wondered. Noting that in today’s era, everyone craved for quality, Kumar said, “Our thinking needs to become good as well.” Asked if she would meet Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the run-up to the election, Kumar said she had written a letter to him and would decide on meeting him when she visited the eastern state.

Going against the decision of its alliance partners, the RJD and the Congress, Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) has decided to back the candidature of former Bihar governor Kovind. Kumar, the opposition’s presidential nominee, also hails from Bihar. When pointed out that like her, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also been speaking about development based on Mahatma Gandhi’s ideologies, Kumar said Gandhiji’s ideology was that of “secularism”.

“We do not just have to be tolerant towards the other religions, but be respectful towards them. That was Gandhiji’s ideology and we have always carried that forward,” she said.

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  1. P
    Jul 2, 2017 at 4:55 am
    1. S
      Jul 2, 2017 at 3:46 am
      You father and your family used caste as an advantage and now there is a very good human being from lower caste and you lost your caste advantage. Your brother had a great picture library and we saw his Amar chitra Katha. We know how much money your family got in jaguar deal.
      1. Abu Fitna
        Jul 1, 2017 at 11:48 pm
        A huge fake smile. No one is forcing you to contest lady, and talking about ideologies..hehe he.
        1. D
          Dr Steve George
          Jul 1, 2017 at 11:12 pm
          This is to inform the public male or female who are healthy and serious in selling his/her kidney urgently a kidney is bought $450,000 USD. my name is Dr steve i am Neprologist in India fortish surgical Hospital. kindly contact us through Email:fortishospitalshs or Call mobile No:7795551088 or whatsap 9867074138.....
          1. R
            Jul 1, 2017 at 10:16 pm
            she is a fake lady with a fake smile Instead of visiting states go visit temples maybe god will help you get some more votes Blame your masters Gandhi which lacked brains to decide candidate earlier waited for bjp to select then copy them So better question your Italian madam
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