UPA presidential nominee addresses legislators in Shillong
From Our Staff Correspondent
Shillong, July 5: Despite the odds stacked against her, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) presidential candidate Meira Kumar exuded confidence while addressing the MLAs of Meghalaya here on Wednesday and asserted that she has joined the race for the office of President of India for overall development of the country.
The UPA nominee kick-started her campaign in the north-eastern States from Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, where she dwelt on the compulsions that prompted 17 opposition parties to take on the ruling NDA coalition presidential nominee on the basis of ideologies.
“Presidential election is being fought for the first time in the country’s history on ideological grounds,” Kumar claimed, adding, “The need has arisen because of the prevailing atmosphere that is slowly damaging the fabric of the country.”
Taking a pot shot at the BJP-led tiol Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, the UPA nominee and former Lok Sabha Speaker stated that she could see the dangers of divisive commul politics pursued by the current regime that threaten to tear asunder the age-old social harmony in the country, as opposed to “inclusive politics” followed by parties like the Congress.
She said that these were the issues that she would focus while appealing to the enlisted members of the collegiums.
“All Indians believe in the harmonious existence of diverse culture, religion and ethnic groups and the 17 parties have come out to lead this ideological battle against the party who tries to polarize it,” she said.
In her speech to the MLAs of the State and the north-eastern region, Kumar appealed them to vote with their “conscience”.
The UPA nominee said, “The future generation will question you on why you have not stood up against the destructive ideology at that period of time.”
Later, asked by the media whether she will mage to script history by becoming the President of the country without the support of the party in power at the Centre and the States, the former Lok Sabha Speaker said, “I am confident”.
The meeting was attended by Congress legislators, including Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma, Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee president DD Lapang and Independent MLAs. UDP leader and Leader of Opposition Dr Donkupar Roy, along with Sohra legislator, were also present on the occasion.
The NPP and HSPDP, however, abstained from the meeting. And so were two Congress members of Parliament – Vincent Pala and Wansuk Syiem.