Yashwant Sinha files nomination amid Oppn show of unity

Yashwant Sinha
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 Yashwant Sinha

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Yashwant Sinha on Monday filed his nomination papers as the Presidential candidate for the July 18 election amid a big show of Opposition unity.

New Delhi: Yashwant Sinha on Monday filed his nomination papers as the Presidential candidate for the July 18 election amid a big show of Opposition unity. Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav, Sharad Pawar, and Sitaram Yechury were among the top leaders present in a show of support.

This comes just three days after the candidate backed by the National Democratic Alliance - Droupadi Murmu - filed her nomination papers in Parliament in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several Union ministers. The Opposition leaders - present on Monday - cited "ideology" for their choice of Presidential candidate. "We are all unitedly supporting Yashwant Sinha ji. Of course, we are supporting the individual, but the real fight is between two ideologies. One ideology of RSS - anger, hatred and the other of compassion of all the Opposition parties who are standing together," said Rahul Gandhi.

Earlier on Monday, Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao also extended his support to Sinha, who has served as Union Finance and Foreign minister in the past. KT Rama Rao, his son and Telangana minister, was in attendance on Monday to back Sinha.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee was in Delhi recently to attend the Opposition meeting that she had called ahead of the Presidential elections. The July 18 election has brought leaders cross the party together. Her party colleague Saugata Roy on Monday said Mamata has extended full support to Sinha. "It is not a fight between two individuals only, it is a fight between two ideologies - between communalism and secularism and authoritarianism versus democracy," Roy said. "On a person-to-person basis, Sinha is far better. All Opposition parties are fully supporting him. The Congress, DMK, Socialist parties and Left parties are supporting him. I think it is a rainbow-coloured coalition of best values," he further said.

CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury, who was also present during the nomination filing process, said that he respected National Democratic Alliance's (NDA's) candidate Droupadi Murmu, but the contest is about ideologies. Sinha filed his nomination three days after Murmu.

On June 24, he reached out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, seeking their support for his candidature. Sinha also reached out to veteran BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani and Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren. Meanwhile, the Centre accorded a Z category security cover of armed Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commandos to Sinha, as he is expected to travel across India after filing the nomination. Murmu has been accorded a Z+ security cover.

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