Yashwant Sinha, the joint candidate put up by 17 opposition parties for the presidential polls, said on Wednesday that India should not have a “rubber-stamp president” and added that the battle is not between two individuals but between two ideologies.
In the statement, Sinha said if elected, he shall conscientiously uphold, without fear or favour, the basic values and guiding ideals of the Constitution.
The full statement has been reproduced below
I am overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude towards all the Opposition parties and their leaders for choosing me unanimously as their common candidate to contest the Presidential Election, to be held on 18th July 2022.
I thank them for the trust and confidence they have reposed in me. I assure them – and the People of India – that, if elected, I shall conscientiously uphold, without fear or favour, the basic values and guiding ideals of the Indian Constitution. In particular, as the Custodian of the Constitution, I shall not allow the light of democracy and secularism to be dimmed by the executive. I shall not allow the independence and integrity of democratic institutions to be weaponised against political opponents, as is happening now. I shall do my utmost to ensure that the majesty of Indian Parliament will remain safe from attacks by the forces of authoritarianism.
The ongoing attacks on the Federal Structure of the Constitution, whereby the government is attempting to rob the state governments of their legitimate rights and powers, will be treated as totally unacceptable. I shall also use the authority of my office to check the menacing power of ill-gotten money that is killing the soul of Indian democracy and making a mockery of people’s mandate in elections.
India is currently going through extremely difficult times. I shall raise my voice for the common people – kisans, workers, unemployed youth, women and all marginalised sections of society.
I take this opportunity to emphasise that this is not a contest of individuals. I have great regard for Smt. Draupadi Murmu, who has been chosen by the Bharatiya Janata Party as its candidate for the Presidential Election. I have had the pleasure of interacting with her when she was the Governor of Jharkhand. I wish her well in this election. However, this is a battle between two opposing ideologies. Leaders of one ideology are hellbent on throttling the Constitution. They believe India’s Rashtrapati should not function with a mind of her/his own and should merely serve as a rubber stamp to do the government’s bidding. I am proud to belong to the other ideology that is determined to save the Constitution and the Republic.
After filing my nomination papers on June 27, I plan to begin my campaign by visiting as many state capitals as I possibly can. I hope to meet or speak to the leaders as well as MPs and MLAs of all the political parties to seek their support. Above all, I also seek the support and guidance of ‘Janata Janardan’, the People of this Great Nation.