Hitting out at Opposition presidential candidate P A Sangma and his poll managers for indulging in “mud slinging” against UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee,Union minister Jairam Ramesh today lamented the lack of “sanctity” in public life.
“The way BJP and poll managers of Sangma are trying to hurl mud at Mr Mukherjee… No words are enough to condemn this. This is really scandalous. There should be some sanctity left in public life,” Ramesh told reporters.
The Union Rural Development Minister was here to attend Sanjukta & Raghunath Panigrahi Awards & Festival of Music and Dance.
Asked on the religion and caste factor in the presidential election,Ramesh said,”We cannot divide India this way — either on the basis of caste,religion or language or ethnic community. We have an India but we need to create Indians who have pride in their country.”
Acknowledging that Indians certainly have identity markers like caste,religion,language,ethnic community,Ramesh said politics must go beyond these divides.
“Unfortunately politics in our country is dividing our society. It should not happen. Our democracy should be an agglomerate of democracy. We should bring people together and not divide them,” he said.
On the two candidates in fray,Ramesh said both are good people.
It would be nice if Pranab Mukherjee was elected unanimously considering his stature,his standing,his contribution to Indian political life,Ramesh said.
On Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seeking vote for Sangma projecting him as a distinguished tribal leader,he said: “I would appeal to leaders of Odisha who have suddenly discovered themselves as champions of tribal welfare and tribal interests that the best way of standing up for tribal issues is doing something on the ground on tribal welfare programme,especially health.”