Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today slammed the Opposition for terming the presidential election as a fight of ideology, saying the President should have only one ideology — the Constitution of India. Seventeen non-NDA parties have chosen former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar for President against the NDA’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind. Both Kovind, who hails from Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur, and Kumar, a resident of Bihar, belong to the Dalit community.
The Congress-led opposition yesterday said it would contest the presidential election on the basis of ideology and appealed to all secular forces to support Kumar. “The President will have and should have only one ideology — the Constitution of India … Maintain the dignity of the institution, follow the Constitution. That’s all. Where is the question of an ideological fight?” Naidu replied to a question from reporters here. The information and broadcasting minister said apart from the NDA parties, Kovind has support of other non-NDA parties like JD(U), BJD, AIADMK (both factions), and YSRCP. He hoped more parties will support the NDA candidate.
The minister said the NDA parties are united in their support for Kovind, while the Opposition is divided. “We are united. They are divided … We are confident. They are diffident … We are marching forward. They are looking backward. That is why their situation is awkward,” he said.