Presidential election not an ideological fight: Naidu

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Hyderabad, July 4 (IANS) Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said the presidential election was not an ideological fight as some opposition parties were trying to project it.

Addressing a meeting organised by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in honour of NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, he said commitment to the Constitution and capacity of the candidate was the only criteria.

Dismissing the claim by the Congress and some other opposition parties that it is an ideological fight, the senior BJP leader said the only ideology the President should have is commitment to the Constitution.

“Other ideologies have no place,” remarked Naidu, adding that the President has no power to take political decisions but only acts as a constitutional head and the supreme commander of the armed forces.

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“The ideologies have already been decided in 2014 when people voted overwhelmingly for (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi,” added the central minister.

He said some parties were trying to divert attention by speaking about commitment to democracy.

“Who are talking of commitment to democracy, those who imposed Emergency. They are also talking about social security. You had been in power for long but you could not provide social security. Now out of power, you are talking about it,” he said targeting the Congress party.

Naidu said these parties were also speaking about social and economic disparities but these things had to be taken care of by those in power as the President can only give advice as an elderly person.

The central minister also slammed the Congress party for putting its candidate despite the NDA consulting it and the entire opposition and taking their views before announcing its candidate.

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He also defended the NDA fielding its own candidate in the past, saying then the ruling alliance had not consulted it before announcing its nominee.

Naidu exuded confidence that Kovind will get elected as he was getting wide support across the country.

Terming him as the most suitable candidate, the BJP leader said as Bihar Governor he conducted himself in a non-partisan manner and hence Bihar’s ruling party Janata Dal-United too, declared its support to him.

The Minister said Kovind never advocated conflict between communities and always spoke for social harmony. He said because of his commitment to the Constitution and soberness, he was earning the goodwill of larger section of the country.

Naidu said major parties outside the NDA like JD-U, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Biju Janata Dal, both factions of AIADMK, YSR Congress Party, Indian National Lok Dal and several other smaller parties have declared their support to Kovind.

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