New Delhi: Former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha was declared presidential candidate by opposition parties on Tuesday (June 21). NCP leader Sharad Pawar, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi had declined to be presidential nominees of opposition parties. Asked about his prospects against the BJP-led NDA candidate Droupadi Murmu for the presidential election slated for July 18, Sinha said it was a battle of issues and to “save the constitution”.
“If I am not able to win the election, should I withdraw? When we are on the battlefield, we fight with full might. I have already said we do not have any personal fight with Droupadi Murmuji. I know her very well and convey my best wishes. But this is a battle of issues. It is to save the Constitution of India and I can tell you with confidence that I will be more constitutional when I will be in President House than the NDA candidate,” he said.
Droupadi Murmu, a former Jharkhand Governor and a former Odisha minister, was on Tuesday declared as NDA’s presidential candidate. Murmu reached Bhubaneswar on Wednesday night, covering a distance of about 280 km on road from her native Rairangpur town in Mayurbhanj district, amid cheers and greetings by locals along the way. She is set to leave for Delhi on Thursday morning. Murmu was received by Odisha BJP president Samir Mohanty and Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi at a guest house in the state capital, where she will be putting up for the night, an official here said. “She is scheduled to leave for Delhi on Thursday morning around 9 am,” the official told reporters.
Earlier, Murmu had told ANI on Tuesday that she was surprised to learn of her candidature. Droupadi Murmu had also said that she will work according to the powers of the President in the constitution. “I’m surprised, I wasn’t able to believe it. I am thankful and do not wish to speak much. Whatever powers are there of a President in the Constitution, I’ll work accordingly,” she had said. Asked about Yashwant Sinha being declared the opposition candidate, the NDA candidate said she will seek support from all parties. “There are candidates. Our work is to go to people, reach out to members of the electoral college and seek their cooperation. I’ll request all parties and states for support,” she had said.