New Delhi: Opposition’s presidential nominee Meira Kumar made an emotional appeal to lawmakers on Sunday, urging them to cast aside their narrow political interests and vote with their inner conscience.
The former Lok Sabha Speaker said the President’s post is considered the “final touchstone” for the passage of laws by the Constitution and its sanctity must be maintained. “It, therefore, cannot function to serve narrow political interests.”
Taking a leaf from former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's appeal made during the 1974 presidential poll in favour of VV Giri, Kumar said, "This is that moment when one should heed the inner voice of conscience and set the course of the nation."
Her appeal to the members of the Electoral College came even before she files the nomination papers. She is likely to do so on June 28, the last date for filing nominations.
She said, she was fortunate to have been associated, in various ways, with two monumental struggles of India – the struggle to free India from British rule and the fight against caste system - that, she said, still plagues the Indian culture and polity.
“The nature of these two struggles has deeply influenced my sentiments, my thoughts and my actions,” she said.
Kumar said she has been inspired by the example set by the founding fathers of India, regardless of their political affiliations.
“Despite the differences, 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,” she said.
Kumar said the President takes an oath to "protect and defend the Constitution - the backbone of Indian democracy".
"It is this Constitution that I and countless others have invoked to reinforce our democratic values. It has guided and elevated us in times of crisis and confusion," she said.