Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut on Monday questioned opposition parties for fielding Gopalkrishna Gandhi for the vice-presidential election, saying the latter had been opposed to the death sentence of 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts convict Yakub Memon.
The Congress President said that the numbers might be stacked against the candidates but the battle needed to be fought and fought hard.
Ms Gandhi was speaking at a high tea where Opposition presidential and vice-presidential candidates Meira Kumar and Gopal Krishna Gandhi met with MPs from 18 political parties backing them.
The session will take place in the Parliament annexe building. "But battle must be fought and fought hard".
Ms. Gandhi was addressing a meeting of the Opposition parties on Sunday that have banded together to vote collectively for Ms. Kumar and Mr. Gandhi in these elections, 17 parties for the first and 18 (including the Janata Dal-United) for the second.
They are entrusted to discharge the duties of their offices in a manner that preserves, protects and defends both the Constitution and the law. She said the election represents a clash of ideas and conflict of disparate values. "We must have confidence in the values we believe in".
Gopalkrishna Gandhi will also start his campaign soon after filing his nomination for the vice presidential election to be held on August 5.
She singled out Meira Kumar's role as Lok Sabha Speaker as a "duty she performed with great forbearance and with huge dignity", while saying Gopalkrishna Gandhi has distinguished himself as a public intellectual, civil servant, diplomat, author and Governor, and who "has not failed to stand up to those who promote fear as they seek to suppress freedom and diversity".
The JD (U), which skipped the all-party meeting convened by the government this morning, stayed away from the opposition event too.