Kerala

Nation needs a thinking, speaking President: Yashwant Sinha

The Opposition’s Presidential candidate, Yashwant Sinha, arrives at the Shankanarayanan Thampi  Members Lounge of the Assembly complex with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Ministers in Thiiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

The Opposition’s Presidential candidate, Yashwant Sinha, arrives at the Shankanarayanan Thampi Members Lounge of the Assembly complex with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Ministers in Thiiruvananthapuram on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: S. MAHINSHA

Yashwant Sinha, the candidate of the Opposition parties for the July 18 Presidential elections, on Wednesday started his campaign from Kerala by strongly criticising the policies of the Narendra Modi government and asserting that the country needed a “thinking, speaking President” in the Rashtrapati Bhavan and not a “rubber stamp.”

Mr. Sinha met legislators of the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) separately at the Kerala Legislative Assembly to seek their support for his election. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other senior leaders were present on the occasion.

Kerala, Mr. Sinha said, will play a unique role in the upcoming polls as all the LDF and UDF MPs and MLAs will be voting for him, setting aside their differences. Later, speaking at a Meet-the-Press programme organised by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists, Mr. Sinha expressed confidence about putting up a strong fight.

“There are some who believe that numbers are not on my side. I want to say that every election is not a numbers game. But even if it is a numbers game, it is a developing situation. The campaign has just begun. You will see a lot of changes between now and July 18,” he said.

On speculations regarding the stand of Jharkhand Chief Minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) president Hemant Soren, Mr. Sinha said he was confident of JMM support. “They have not said ‘no’ to my candidature officially,’‘ he said. He said he was also in touch with the Aam Admi Party (AAP).

The policies of the BJP government, the former Union Finance Minister alleged, had thrust the country into the grips of a 'stagflation.' The authoritarian rule has ''weakened, devalued and diminished'' the institutions of democracy, and in many instances, they have ceased to play their roles. The demonetisation dealt a ''body blow'' to the economy and is the ''biggest scam of this century as it helped to convert black money into white,'' he said.

Mr. Sinha termed the Agnipath scheme ''foolish.'' ''Playing with the discipline of the armed forces of the country is a dangerous thing. This is not the way to solve the problem of unemployment,'' he said.

Inflation, unemployment and absence of recourse have made the lives of the people extremely difficult. He accused the Central government of misusing institutions, including the Governor's office, as weapons against Opposition parties and State governments run by them. This is evident from the developments in Maharashtra, he said.


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Printable version | Jun 29, 2022 9:17:13 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/nation-needs-a-thinking-speaking-president-yashwant-sinha/article65582856.ece