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Presidential polls: Meira Kumar files nomination

Amit Agnihotri | New Delhi Jun 29, 2017 03:05 AM IST
Presidential candidate Meira Kumar (left) files her nomination papers in the presence of Congress President Sonia Gandhi (second left) at Parliament House, in New Delhi on Wednesday

Several key opposition party leaders accompanied their presidential candidate, Meira Kumar, who filed her nomination for the July 17 election described by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi as an ideological battle.

Kumar is pitted against the ruling National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) Ram Nath Kovind, till recently the governor of Bihar.

Beside Sonia gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Nationalist Congress Party head Sharad Pawar, CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury, BSP's Satish Chandra Misra, CPI's D Raja and the TMC's Derek O'Brien attended. RJD chief Lalu Prasad was conspicuous by his absence.

Though BSP supremo Mayawati did not attend the event, she is one of the several proposers of Meira Kumar. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who is abroad, did not turn up for the show of opposition unity but tweeted that he was proud of Kumar's candidature for the top post.

Three Congress chief ministers were also present — Punjab's Amarinder Singh, Puducherry's V Narayanasamy and Karnataka's Siddaramaiah.

Before filing her papers in Parliament, Kumar prayed at the memorials of Mahatma Gandhi and her father and former deputy prime minister, Jagjivan Ram.

She is to start her campaign on Friday from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to invoke Mahatma Gandhi. She is expected to visit her home state of Bihar on July 6, where she would appeal to the lawmakers to vote for her. Before that, she is to visit Karnataka.

Incidentally, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has decided to ditch the opposition nominee and go with NDA's Kovind, though his party rules the state with the RJD and the Congress.

"We will visit all states," said Meira Kumar, who is likely to lose the contest. "We are fighting a divisive ideology," she added, referring to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.


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