Next President of India: Meira Kumar seeks support of electoral college, TRS
Hyderabad, July 3: Opposition presidential candidate Meira Kumar has written letters to all members of the electoral college, seeking their support in the July 17 election.
She visited Hyderabad on Monday as part of her campaign. After garlanding the statue of her father Babu Jagjivan Ram in the city, she told reporters that she wrote letters last week to all members of the electoral college.
The former Lok Sabha Speaker said that she had also made a written appeal to Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the ruling party in Telangana which has already announced its support to her rival and NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind.
Meira Kumar, who addressed the members f Parliament and state legislators of the Congress, said that she would take necessary steps as a follow-up to the letter sent to the TRS.
State Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy said they left a message with the personal secretary of TRS President and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao that she would like to speak to him over phone.
The Congress has been demanding the TRS should vote for Meira Kumar given her role in the formation of a separate state of Telangana.
Recalling that she was the Lok Sabha Speaker when Telangana was formed, Meira Kumar said the formation of a separate state was a historic development and it fulfilled the long-pending demand of the people and met their aspirations.
While wishing the people of Telangana happiness and prosperity, she said no matter how much progress the state makes and the development it achieves in terms of infrastructure and Information Technology, it would mean nothing without social justice.
"What is important is how much respect we give to Dalits, poor, tribals and minorities. This is basic and we have to focus on this. These are the principles on which I am contesting the elections," she said.
Meira Kumar claimed the political history of India has witnessed a very important development during the last eight to nine days with 17 major opposition political parties coming together on one platform and unanimously deciding to contest the Presidential election.
"This Presidential election is going to be powerful articulation of the value system, the principles and the philosophy which has been held so dear by most of the people of this country and which is now under threat," she said.
She thanked the opposition parties for reposing faith in her and assured them that she would leave no stone unturned to fulfil the responsibility that they have given.
"They (opposition parties) came together on firm ideological position. This unity is welcome and it has been welcomed everywhere," said Meira Kumar, who started her campaign from Gujarat and has visited Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
She said ideology was very dear to her and not empty words like for those in power today.
She claimed that three important goals -- political freedom, economic freedom and social emancipation -- were set on the agenda during the freedom struggle under Mahatma Gandhi's leadership.
The former Lok Sabha Speaker said while political freedom was achieved on August 15, 1947, they had been working for economic freedom and social emancipation.
"For us social justice means so much. It's justice for poor, Dalits, tribals, backwards and members of minorities in multi-religious country, for all humble, weak and feeble cutting across all caste and creed. We are working tirelessly for their dignity, their rights and for their welfare. This is our ideology and I have made this value system the plank of my campaign," she added.