Take pledge to be impartial custodian of Constitution, Sinha dares Murmu

The Opposition Presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha with Congress leaders Siddaramaiah, D.K. Shivakumar and M. Mallikarjun Kharge in Bengaluru on Sunday.

The Opposition Presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha with Congress leaders Siddaramaiah, D.K. Shivakumar and M. Mallikarjun Kharge in Bengaluru on Sunday. | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

Stating that the President should be an impartial custodian of the Constitution, the combined Opposition Presidential candidate and former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha on Sunday pledged to be answerable to the Constitution even as he challenged the ruling party candidate Droupadi Murmu to take a similar vow.

“The President should not be a silent rubber stamp. I pledge to be answerable to the Constitution and restrain the Union government if it aids and abets outrageously undemocratic practices such as Operation Kamala that has been used to destabilise Opposition governments in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and several other States,” he told reporters here on Sunday.

He met the Congress leaders and legislators seeking support to his campaign during the Congress Legislative Party meeting. Among those present included Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah, Leader of the Opposition in the Council B.K. Hariprasad, and KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar.

He also pledged to speak out against any attempts aimed at communal polarisation and defend freedom of press, speech and other rights, besides promising to work for the repeal of the sedition law. “I have great personal regard for the candidate of the ruling party. However, in the prevailing grim circumstances in the country, I urge her to assure the people of India on the above concern and make a similar pledge,” Mr. Sinha said.

Quoting the recent statement of Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana that “the judiciary is answerable to the Constitution and the Constitution alone,” the former Union Minister said: “I fully endorse this view and congratulate CJI Ramana for this forthright affirmation. I have been saying since I filed my nomination papers on June 27 that the sole purpose behind my acceptance of the combined Opposition’s offer to be their candidate is to safeguard the Constitution and its lofty values, which are today under unprecedented threat.”

In the past eight years, Mr. Sinha alleged that “The ruling dispensation has launched repeated assaults on democracy and secularism, which form the founding principles of our Republic. It has unleashed a poisonous communal propaganda to divide India’s multi religious society.”

Referring to the Supreme Court’s stringent indictment of Nupur Sharma’s remarks on Prophet Mohammed, he said: “Unfortunately, BJP supporters are trolling the Supreme Court for condemning her remarks and filthiest abuses are being levelled against judiciary. This is unprecedented and a sad development.” He also lamented that the Union government has weaponised ED, CBI, Election Commission and even the Governor’s office against Opposition parties, their leaders and governments. “This has become a common practice now.

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2022 8:52:28 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/take-pledge-to-be-impartial-custodian-of-constitution-sinha-dares-murmu/article65595337.ece