Presidential poll 2017: UPA nominee Meira Kumar urges lawmakers to vote with their 'conscience', says atmosphere of fear must end

04 July 2017, 09:00 PM
Presidential poll 2017: UPA nominee Meira Kumar urges lawmakers to vote with their 'conscience'
Presidential poll 2017: UPA nominee Meira Kumar urges lawmakers to vote with their 'conscience'

Opposition nominee Meira Kumar on Tuesday called for an end to “the atmosphere of fear” in the country, while urging lawmakers to vote with their “conscience” in the presidential poll.

The former speaker, pitted against the NDA’s Ram Nath Kovind in the presidential race, stressed that she was fighting for the freedom of speech and expression, and for a free media.

Condemning the “prevailing atmosphere of fear,” she said, “Earlier, also, there were religious beliefs and practices, but we never witnessed such an atmosphere of fear.”

She said there was fear about what one should eat and say.

“This has to stop,” she said, addressing Trinamool Congress MLAs in the West Bengal state assembly.

Kumar separately met MLAs of the Trinamool Congress, Left Front and Congress in the assembly and thanked them for pledging their support to her in the July 17 election.

The presidential election, she said, was not merely about two candidates fighting the elections for the post of the president.

Also Read | Presidential election: Meira Kumar says she is not ‘scapegoat’, fighting for an ideology

“It is a fight of two ideologies. I am fighting an ideological battle. I am fighting for the ideology of equality, democratic values  freedom of expression and speech,” she said.

Kumar appealed to the lawmakers to listen to their “voice of conscience”, she told the media later.

She said she was “not alone” in the fight and that she had the support of a number of parties and also a large number of people.

“This is for the first time that so many opposition parties have come together, keeping aside their differences, under the leadership of Congress president Sonia Gandhi for the sake of this country,” Kumar said.

Also Read | Presidential poll: UPA’s candidate Meira Kumar says caste factor must be buried in deep earth

First Published: Tuesday, July 04, 2017 08:44 PM

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