AS NDA’S presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu emerged victorious on Thursday in the elections, crossing the halfway mark after the third round of counting, her opponent Yashwant Sinha, who was the joint Opposition candidate, congratulated her and hoped she would function as the custodian of the Constitution without fear or favour.
Sinha said his candidature had brought most Opposition parties on a common platform and hoped the Opposition unity would continue beyond the presidential election. “It must be equally evident in the election of the Vice-President,” he said on a day the Trinamool Congress decided to abstain from voting in the August 6 vice-presidential contest between NDA nominee Jagdeep Dhankar and opposition nominee Margaret Alva.
“I heartily congratulate Smt Droupadi Murmu on her victory in the presidential election 2022. I hope — indeed, every Indian hopes — that as the 15th President of India she functions as the Custodian of the Constitution without fear or favour. I join my fellow countrymen in extending best wishes to her,” Sinha said in a statement.
Thanking leaders of the Opposition parties for choosing him as their consensus candidate, he said, “I also thank all members of the electoral college who voted for me. I accepted the offer of Opposition parties solely guided by the philosophy of Karma Yoga preached by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita — ‘Do your duty without expectation of the fruits thereof’. I have performed my duty conscientiously out of my love for my country. The issues I had raised during my campaign remain pertinent.”
“Despite the outcome of the election, I believe it has benefited Indian democracy in two important ways. First, it brought most Opposition parties on a common platform. This is indeed the need of the hour, and I earnestly appeal to them to continue — indeed, further strengthen — Opposition unity beyond the presidential election. It must be equally evident in the election of the Vice-President,” he said.
Secondly, he said he had tried to highlight the views, concerns and commitments of the Opposition parties on major issues before the nation and the common people in the course of his election campaign.
“In particular, I voiced strong concern over the blatant and rampant weaponisation of ED, CBI, Income Tax department and even the office of Governor against Opposition parties and their leaders. These institutions are also being misused to engineer defections and topple Opposition-run state governments. India has never seen political corruption of such magnitude,” he said. “This, coupled with the poisonous politics of polarisation, poses a grave danger to democracy and communal harmony in India. I am happy that my views found strong resonance among the CMs, leaders, MPs and MLAs belonging to Opposition parties in all the states I visited. Common people have also supported these views.”