Presidential election 2017: Meira Kumar visits Puducherry to gather support, says she will fight for press freedom

Puducherry:  Opposition presidential hopeful Meira Kumar on Sunday reiterated that she had requested members of the collegium comprising all MPs and members of state assemblies to "heed the inner voice of conscience and act in the best interest of the country."

Talking to reporters after meeting the legislators of the ruling Congress and its ally, the DMK, jointly at a star hotel here, she said, "I have written to members of the collegium -all MPS and MLAs of every state and party seeking their support to my candidature in the forthcoming presidential poll."

File image of Meira Kumar. AFP

File image of Meira Kumar. AFP

"Our country is now standing at cross-roads and I requested members of the collegium in my letter to heed their inner voice of conscience and act in the best interest of the country and stand for the poor and by the philosophy of secularism," she said.

Replying to a question, the former Lok Sabha Speaker said, "From my side it is an ideological fight for secularism. It is not just for tolerance but even more and to respect every one and their belief. Our fight is for freedom of expression. I am also fighting for freedom of press."

She said for the last one week "there has been historical development. Seventeen major political parties have come together under the chairmanship of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and unanimously decided to choose me as the presidential candidate."

"I am honoured by the trust they have reposed in me. Their coming together is an articulation of the legacy of composite thinking and philosophy that we have inherited. This unity is based on ideological position that all the parties have taken," she added.

She praised Puducherry and said, "it has a history of always maintaining peace and having respect for every individual cutting across religious and castes, and also whether the individuals are poor or humble or weak or marginalised."

Kumar said the message of Auroville, Aurobindo and The Mother of the Ashram here had been promotion of peace, dignity and this message emanating from Puducherry had spread across the whole country.

Earlier, on arrival at the venue of the joint meeting of the Congress and DMK legislators, the former Lok Sabha Speaker was received by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, his ministerial colleagues, Deputy Speaker V P Sivakolundhu and legislators of the Congress and DMK.

PCC president and PWD Minister A Namassivayam welcomed her at the meeting.

Among those present included TNCC leader Su Tirunavukarasar.

All the 30 elected legislators of the Union Territory of Puducherry are members of the electoral college for the presidential poll.

Kumar had met MPs and MLAs of DMK, Congress, IUML and Left parties from Tamil Nadu in Chennai on Saturday and sought their support in the presidential poll.

Updated Date: Jul 02, 2017 16:47 PM

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