New Delhi: Former Lok Sabha Speaker and Opposition Presidential candidate Meira Kumar on Wednesday filed her nomination papers for the July 27 election for the country’s top office. Her candidacy is backed by 17 parties including Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal ( RJD), Trinamool Congresss, Samajwadi Party( SP) and BSP. Kumar is a five-time MP and has served as the Lok Sabha Speaker as well as an IFS officer.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, senior party leaders, chief ministers such as Amarinder Singh, Virbhadra Singh and Siddaramaiah were present as Kumar submitted her nomination papers.
She faces the NDA presidential candidate, Ram Nath Kovind who was earlier the Governor of Bihar. Kovind’s name was announced by BJP President Amit Shah last week and is backed by all the parties in the NDA along with non-NDA constituents like BJD, TDP and TRS and AIADMK. Both Kumar and Kovind, hailing from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh respectively, belong to the Dalit community.
However, Meira Kumar said “caste identification” should not play a role in election to the high office. She said the contest is a battle of ideologies and questioned the society’s mindset for portraying it as a Dalit vs Dalit fight.
“Prior to this, when elections for this post took place many a time there were candidates from the so-called upper castes. But there was no discussion on their castes. Their qualities, abilities and qualifications were discussed. I don’t remember their being any debate about their castes,” she said.
Meanwhile, Meira Kumar entered Twitter after her name was finalized by the Opposition last week and she is tweeting regularly with a view to create a popular base for her candidature.
“Against the ideology of divisiveness she represents the values that bind us as a nation&a ppl.Proud to have @meira_kumar ji as our candidate,” Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi tweeted.