Kolkata, July 4 (IANS) The Congress-led opposition’s Presidential candidate Meira Kumar on Tuesday sought support from the legislators and MPs of West Bengal’s Trinamool Congress, Left and Congress parties.
She stressed on “ideology and ideology alone” as her plank in the presidential contest.
“I have been given assurance that you are supporting me. You have given me so much strength. Kolkata and West Bengal have given me strength and inspiration because it is the land of fighters. You have always fought against injustice and atrocities,” Meira Kumar told the legislators in the West Bengal assembly.
Expressing gratitude to 17 opposition parties for reposing faith in her candidature, she said their unity is based on a firm ideological stand.
“Parties who otherwise differ on so many different things (came together). They have placed tremendous trust in me. This unity of 17 political parties is based on firm ideological positions.
“Ideology, the philosophy, the value system which is so dear to me and which is so dear to most of the people of my country. That is why I have decided to make ideology and ideology alone the plank of this contest,” she said, adding this unity is of “far-reaching importance.”
Meira Kumar also met assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee.
The former Lok Sabha Speaker said she has “an old association with Kolkata and Bengal”.
“I have been inspired by reading the great works of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay and Rabindranath Tagore. Their works kept the rejects, the marginalised and downtrodden of the society in the centre and gave them their due dignity and rights. This is the ethos which prevails throughout your beautiful state,” she said.
She appealed for support from the Opposition, dubbing the presidential election an “ideological war”.
“I appeal to them… request them to support me in this ideological war because we stand at the crossroads of history. There is one path which leads to intolerance, fear… there is the other path which leads to, in our multi-religious society, tolerance and more than tolerance, respect for all religious denominations, the abolition of casteism, to the end of poverty, to inclusiveness, transparency and social justice.
“History beckons all the voters of the coming presidential election to think in the best interest of the country, what actually is in the best interests of the most downtrodden and most suppressed of the country. And then vote.”
Asked whether she stood a chance as the arithmetic in the electoral college was in favour of the country’s ruling National Democratic Alliance, she said: “I have appealed to the voice of conscience. In my view, conscience carries much more weight than numbers and in this ideological battle, I am convinced that as we go from day to day more and more people will be convinced about their ideology and listen to their voice of conscience.”
“I am fighting an ideological battle. I am fighting for inclusiveness. I stand on very strong ground. I am fighting this battle with great confidence. I will leave no stone unturned to ensure triumph of my ideologies.”
To a query on her agenda if she wins the contest, she said: “All these years, I have been in public life and even before that, I have dedicated myself for the work of downtrodden, for their dignity, for their rights, and this agenda I will carry on.”