Thiruvananthapuram: Opposition Presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha, who arrived in the Kerala capital to begin his electoral campaign, on Wednesday said that the country needs “a thinking and speaking President” in the Rashtrapati Bhavan and not “a rubber stamp”.
Interacting with the media here after meeting the CPI-M-led Left and the Congress-led Opposition leaders and legislators, he said that the reason why he decided to accept the candidature of the joint opposition is because the country is passing through difficult times.
“The country is now going through inflation, unemployment and an absence of recourse for the people have made life difficult and that’s what prompted me to accept the candidature… I am starting from Kerala,” said Sinha, who landed here on Tuesday night.
To a query about if he had the numbers to get elected, the former Union Minister said that the numbers might not be in his favour but “also every election need not be a numbers game”.
“This is a developing situation and we will see,” he said, adding that he will be going to various states to meet the legislators and the leaders.
Coming down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sinha alleged that there is “an authoritarian one man rule” in the country.
“Institutions of democracies have been weakened, the courts where the citizens can go for justice is also getting delayed. Petitions filed against revocation of Article 370 and 35 A in Jammu and Kashmir is yet to be heard in the Supreme Court, cases challenging the CAA are also lying unheard,” said Sinha.
“People have no recourse… where to go. The youth is on the street protesting against Agnipath. It was a foolish decision,” added Sinha.
Noting that the PM was speaking in Germany the other day about the Emergency in 1975, he said: “If then it was a political decision which we opposed then, even though it was a declared one, now we are going through an undeclared Emergency which is injected with a strong dose of communalism.”
He then said that the economy is in shambles as after the demonetisation in 2016, the growth rate has fallen and “it was the biggest scam of the century”, but today all have forgotten of it and no one talks about it.
After meeting Sinha, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Sinha is the most eligible candidate to contest the election in all respects.