While conceding the fact that the Narendra Modi-led faction holds the edge in the electoral college, Sonia said the Opposition should not accept defeat before the polls. As the Congress and other Opposition parties step up their campaign ahead of polling for the Presidential elections today, the contest is being made out to be more of a "symbolic and ideological" fight rather than of "numbers".
"What at stake is our future, and the values we cherish and must uphold especially at this time of grave disquiet".
Addressing a meeting of the Opposition parties here, Sonia termed the presidential and vice presidential elections as a "clash of ideas" and a "conflict of disparate values". "But battle must be fought, and fought hard", she added. Naidu's name has propped up as he is a veteran BJPian, argualy party's most successful from southern Indian in central leadership, and an upper caste face.
The Janata Dal (United) of Nitish Kumar, which is the ruling alliance partner of Congress in Bihar, did not attend the meeting. The meet is expected to take place once the polling for the presidential elections are over today.
The Opposition leaders were introduced to the two candidates, who spoke a few words. However, the Congress struck back at Centre, accusing them of not holding consultations with Opposition before proposing his name.
She expressed her hope in Meira Kumar and Gopal Krishna Gandhi, who are candidates for presidential and vice-presidential poll respectively, saying that they would give the best society to people amid the crisis that has beset our country. The choice of Kovind for the office of the Head of State compelled the opposition to field former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, a Dalit and daughter of the late Babu Jagjivan Ram who had served as the Deputy Prime Minister. The NDA candidate for the Vice-President's post is yet to be declared.