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President Must Uphold Values of Pluralism: Meira Kumar

Kumar said she has requested the members of the collegium to heed the "inner voice of their conscience" as it is "pure and powerful".  (Photo: Reuters)

Kumar said she has requested the members of the collegium to heed the "inner voice of their conscience" as it is "pure and powerful". (Photo: Reuters)

The opposition presidential nominee, Meira Kumar, on Friday said the President must uphold the values of “inclusiveness, social justice and pluralism” as the supreme representative of the nation.

New Delhi: The opposition presidential nominee, Meira Kumar, on Friday said the President must uphold the values of “inclusiveness, social justice and pluralism” as the supreme representative of the nation.

She said the post was not symbolic and that capability and experience must supersede all other considerations.

Kumar, the joint opposition candidate announced by 17 non-NDA parties on Thursday, is likely to file her nomination papers on June 27 or 28, which is the last date for submitting signatures of the endorsers and other documents.

In an appeal to the electorate comprising Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members and legislators in state assemblies, she said the post was responsible for “safeguarding and defending” constitutional principles for future generations.

“The values I hold dear—of inclusiveness, social justice and pluralism—are the values the President must

uphold as the supreme representative of our nation,” she said.

If the values were eroded, the Constitution would be undermined, the former Lok Sabha Speaker said.

“India can then not hope to achieve the progressive modernity envisioned by its founding fathers and reflected in the collective will of its people,” she said in a statement.

Kumar said the post embodied the diversity of India’s socio-political culture and the vision of its

“composite ideology”.

“It transcends the considerations of caste, religion or region,” she said.

The post, the former minister stressed, was not symbolic.

“It articulates, in the fullest sense, the basis of our electoral philosophy—that capability and experience must always supersede all other considerations,” she said.

In her appeal, she asked members of the collegium to base their decision on "these cherished principles and secure them for our future generations”.

Kumar, a Dalit who was a Union Minister in the UPA government, said she was honoured to be the joint opposition candidate.

She also expressed her gratitude to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and leaders of 17 political parties for their decision to nominate her.

Kumar also individually spoke to leaders of various opposition parties to thank them for the nomination.