Meira Kumar responds to Sushma Swaraj's allegations

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj

The former Lok Sabha Speaker, daughter of Dalit icon Jagjivan Ram whom the opposition chose to counter BJP's Dalit card, has pitted the fight for the Presidential post as an "ideological" battle which she is "not fighting to lose".

72-year-old former Lok Sabha Speaker took most questions on her chin including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's remarks that she has been picked as sacrificial lamb. This time, when two Dalits are competing against each other, there is a lot of noise about it everywhere. "I will start from there", said Kumar briefing media here, a day ahead of filing her nomination papers. Ms Kumar said the unity and coming together of these political parties is based on their shared democratic values, inclusiveness, social justice, freedom of press, and transparency.

As the presiding officer, Meira Kumar was seen interrupting her saying, "All right", "Thank you", "Okay", "I have to proceed", though Sushma Swaraj continued her speech.

Meira Kumar, the opposition's presidential candidate, today addressed a press conference in New Delhi.

"Discussing the status of women, she said they were accorded importance in theory but not in practice". I don't think it is a major issue.

The presidential elections are set to take place on July 17.

Soon after the NDA declared Kovind as its presidential candidate, the Bihar CM hurriedly called an all-party meet and announced support for the NDA's candidate.

"This is how Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar treated the Leader of Opposition", tweeted Sushma Swaraj, along with a video from April 2013 which shows Lok Sabha proceedings, specifically when Swaraj was speaking yet faced numerous interruptions from Kumar. "Our society should progress", she said on being asked about two Dalits leaders being fielded for the top constitutional post. "Although its process of electing is political, the post itself is apolitical", she said. "This reflects the mindset of the society", she added.

"Sushma Swaraj's tweet gives an impression that Meira ji did not allow her to speak, but that is not the fact of the matter".

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