Setback for Sinha as JMM backs Murmu

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Sinha was banking on the JMM because he hails from Jharkhand and had represented the state in the Lok Sabha for many years…reports Asian Lite News

Just three days ahead of the Presidential election scheduled on July 18, the joint opposition nominee for the top post, Yashwant Sinha, faced a major setback after the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) officially announced its support for NDA Candidate Draupadi Murmu.

The announcement came close on the heels of Shiv Sena declaring support for Murmu.

The JMM issued a statement signed by its founder Shibu Soren, which said that after Independence, this is the first time that a tribal woman is contesting for the top Constitutional post and all the MPs and MLAs of the party will vote for Murmu.

The announcement came as a setback for Sinha, who was banking on the JMM because he hails from Jharkhand and had represented the state in the Lok Sabha for many years.

The Shiv Sena had on Tuesday announced that it will support NDA’s Presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray made the formal announcement after a series of consultations with the party MPs, MLAs and other leaders, including tribals.

“There have been absolutely no pressures from the MPs, as claimed in the media. However, many Sena leaders and office-bearers from tribal communities have requested us we take a decision to support Draupadi Murmu for the President’s post,” Thackeray said.

Sinha questions Murmu’s silence

Yashwant Sinha on Thursday questioned NDA nominee Draupadi Murmu’s silence on issues concerning the tribal community in the country.

Addressing a press conference here at a hotel, Sinha called Murmu a ‘silent’ and ‘rubber stamp’ candidate for the Presidential election.

“I have great regards for Draupadi Murmu. However, so far, she has not broken her silence even on issues concerning the tribal communities in India. Hence, my question is to members of the electoral college, and also to the people of the county — should India have a silent and rubber-stamp Rashtrapati?” Sinha said.

He further stated that there is nothing wrong if MLAs and MPs vote for a candidate of his or her choice in the Presidential election.

“The makers of the constitution have devised the method of the secret ballot to underscore the fact that the members of the Electoral College should have freedom to heed the call of their conscience, and should not blindly follow the decision of their respective parties.

“Therefore, I too urge MPs and MLAs, regardless of their party affiliations, to vote for me. But I strongly condemn the dirty tricks employed by the ruling party…. My fight is against anarchism and to protect the democracy of the country,” he added.

“Apart from Madhya Pradesh, the BJP dislodged governments in Karnataka, Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, and most recently in Maharashtra. In all this, I hear alarm bells for democracy in India,” Sinha said.

Sinha arrived in Bhopal on Wednesday night to seek support of MPs and MLAs for the upcoming July 18 Presidential elections.

He has left for Delhi on Thursday noon.

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