Seventeen opposition parties have extended their support to Kumar.
Mumbai: Slamming the likening of presidential elections to dalit versus dalit as “painful”, opposition presidential candidate Meira Kumar on Friday said that the mentality of people had not changed even in today’s modern era. Kumar was in Mumbai to speak to MLAs and MPs who have supported her candidature. Along with the Congress and NCP, the Samajwadi Party and RPI factions led by Rajendra Gavai and Jogendra Kavade were present to welcome her to the city. Seventeen opposition parties have extended their support to Kumar.
She told reporters, “Who are these people terming the presidential poll as dalit vas dalit? I think their real feelings have been exposed with this. It is painful to see that people think about dalit from a caste perspective only. In the past, when presidential elections were contested by upper caste candidates, their caste was never discussed and the focus was on their work. However, when we are contesting the polls, only our caste is being discussed; it is painful. I feel sad that the mindset of people hasn’t changed.”
Kumar has written a letter to all party MLAs and MPs requesting them to support her candidature. "I have written a letter to all MLAs and MPs to understand the importance of the moment and support me. We are at the crossroads where on one hand, there is a myopic attitude. It is our responsibility to take correct measures," she said, appealing all party leaders including the Shiv Sena and TDS to support her.
Reacting to mob lynching in the name of cow vigilance, she said it was a very serious issue and made her worry for the country. "It is a very serious atmosphere in the country. When I open the newspapers every morning, I pray that there is no news of any killing. It has never happened before and we are worried. I feel strict action must be taken. The government has majority and I expect them to immediately stop this.”
To a query as to why she was contesting a losing battle, the Congress leader said that it was a fight for ideology. “If they have the numbers, why don’t they declare their victory? It’s not just a fight but an articulation of what we stand for. Life is full of ups and downs and politics is no exception to it,” she said.