Opposition presidential candidate Meira Kumar on Tuesday said she would contest the polls on the plank of democratic values, inclusiveness, social justice and destruction of caste structure. Kumar, the daughter of iconic Dalit leader Jagjivan Ram, ruled that the polls were being seen as a “Dalit versus Dalit” contest. The caste system, she told reporters, should be “buried deep down” in the earth.
Asked about alleged attacks on Dalits in the recent past, she said, “It is quite shameful.” The former Lok Sabha speaker, chosen as the opposition’s candidate to contest against BJP’s nominee Ram Nath Kovind in the presidential election next month, said she had not decided whether or not to appeal to JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar to support her nomination.
Kumar also said she would launch her poll campaign from Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat. “All MPs appreciated my style of functioning when I was Lok Sabha speaker… none alleged I was biased,” she said.
Hinting at bias, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had posted a video of her Lok Sabha speech in 2013 in which then speaker Kumar is seemingly not extending “protection” against disruptions in the house.