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My fight is to take forward ideology of the Father of Nation: Meira Kumar

June 30, 2017 14:41 IST

Opposition candidate Meira Kumar on Friday launched her presidential election campaign from Mahatma Gandhi's Sabarmati ashram in Ahmedabad and said her fight is for take forward the ideology of the Father of the Nation.

Incidentally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also visited the ashram on Thursday to mark its centenary. It was established by Mahatma Gandhi in 1917 and from here he led the Indian Independence movement.

Kumar spent around 40 minutes in the ashram along with state Congress leaders Bharatsinh Solanki and Shankarsinh Vaghela.

She will contest against National Democratic Alliance's Ram Nath Kovind in the July 17 presidential election.

"The battle which I am fighting at present is for the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi. We have to take forward the ideology of Gandhi," Kumar said launching her campaign.

"I have come to gain some power from this place. I spent some time at the 'Hriday Kunj', Gandhiji's home in the ashram. I have gained lot of energy today to take forward this battle," the 72-year-old Congress veteran said, adding that coming to the ashram gave her peace.

"I wish prosperity for the people of Gujarat and especially those who are marginalised," she said.

Kumar also tried her hands on the 'charkha' (spinning wheel) in the ashram.

She was chosen as the opposition's nominee for the presidential election after NDA declared Kovind, a Dalit leader from Uttar Pradesh, as their candidate. Kumar is the daughter of late Dalit leader Jagjivan Ram.

Upon her arrival at the airport on Thursday, Kumar had said, the election is a "battle of ideologies" and not a "Dalit versus Dalit" fight.

"Attempts are being made by some to project the election as a Dalit versus Dalit fight. It was from Gujarat that the ideology of Gandhiji spread across the country and the world. That is why I have come here to make the people realise that we fight for our ideologies," she had said.

Kumar is scheduled to meet state Congress leaders later on Friday.

She had earlier appealed to MPs and MLAs, who constitute the electoral college, to vote in the presidential election as per their conscience, even as the numbers seem to be stacked against her.

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