The Opposition’s presidential nominee Meira Kumar appealed to MPs and MLAs to listen to their “inner voice of conscience” while voting in the presidential poll. The NDA’s candidate, Ram Nath Kovind, seems set for a victory with the assured backing of about seven of 11 lakh electorate.
There is no party whip in the presidential election. Thus, voting against the party line doesn’t draw anti-defection law.
Praising the Congress-led Opposition, Kumar said representatives of 17 political parties unanimously decided to fight the election based on values and principles. The presidential election was a process “larger than any individual or party”, she said.
“I am fortunate to have been associated, in various ways, with two monumental struggles of our land – the struggle to free India from the colonial rule and the fight against the tyranny of caste that still plagues our culture and polity. The nature of these two struggles has deeply influenced my sentiments, my thoughts, and my actions,” Kumar said.
“I have found that when it comes to preserving the values of inclusiveness and the need for social justice, we all share the same goals. The Constitution recognizes the office of the President as being the final touchstone for the passage of laws. It, therefore, cannot function to serve narrow political interests,” she added.
“This is that moment when one should heed the inner voice of conscience and set the course of the nation. Let us stand together, in spirit and action, to affirm our pledge to this sacred process … and to that guiding voice within us,” said the Opposition’s presidential candidate.