Octogenarian freedom fighter and Left Front nominee Laxmi Sehgal on Friday filed her nomination papers for the presidential election.
Accompanied by former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, Left leaders, her daughter and former CPI-M MP Subhashini Ali, 87-year-old Sehgal filed two sets of nominations at 1140 hours before Rajya Sabha Secretary General R C Tripathi, who is also the returning officer for the election.
Sehgal becomes the first woman to enter the fray for the highest constitutional office. Kalam, who is backed by virtually all the parties except the Left, filed his nomination on Tuesday.
Nominations close on June 25.
While one set of papers was filed by Left parties and JD (S) MPs led by Somnath Chatterjee (CPI-M), J Chittaranjan (CPI), Debabrata Biswas (Forward Bloc), Abani Roy (RSP) and Harishankar Mahale and Javare Gowda (JD-S), the other set was proposed by West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee and left MLAs from West Bengal, Kerala and other states.
"I take it as fight to protect the Constitution," Sehgal said, when asked what would be her main campaign plank for the polls.
She said she would go to the Gujarat relief camps 'to show our sympathy with the people there, but this is not a part of my campaign. I will not meet the electors in that state'.
Sehgal said she proposed to visit West Bengal, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh as part of her campaign.
Chatterjee said, "Sehgal has an impeccable record of service to the country and sacrifice. She is one of the outstanding lieutenants of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. We are happy and proud that such a candidate is today before the electorate."
Stating that principles were being given a 'go-by', he said today's politics had become 'murky' and 'unprincipled and opportunistic alliances' are being made.
In this backdrop, people of the country will realise the 'merits of this candidate', he said. The veteran Marxist parliamentarian said, "Ours was a principled combination of parties, which stuck to its stand of opposing Kalam."
The 11th President of India: Complete Coverage
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