Yashwant Sinha, the presidential candidate of a group of opposition parties, made a final appeal to the “individual conscience” of MPs and MLAs, reminding them that parties cannot bind them by a whip in these elections.
The voting is on Monday, and results will be out on July 21. So far, Droupadi Murmu, the BJP-led NDA’s candidate, looks set to win by crossing the 50 per cent mark as several non-NDA parties have also supported her because of her tribal identity.
Sinha said it is not a battle of individuals but of ideologies. “This year’s presidential election is not an election between two individuals, but between two ideologies. Only one party wants to protect the provisions and values enshrined in our Constitution. I appeal to all MPs and MLAs to vote on the Constitution and their conscience this time,” he tweeted in Hindi.
He also tweeted a video and statement, saying, “This year’s presidential elections are taking place under extraordinary circumstances. There are various issues across the different regions of our country but the biggest challenge is the protection of the Constitution and its values.”
The former union minister, who was with the BJP until a few years ago, said the “country is at a crossroads” and these presidential elections will decide the “fate of the nation”.
“That’s why I appeal to voters – the MPs and MLAs – to vote under the constitutional system as per their conscience. And I assure them that if they vote for me I will do everything in my power to protect the Constitution,” he said in the video.
He added: “There is no whip (binding directions) issued by the parties in these elections, and the ballot is secret. The makers of the Constitution made this arrangement so that MPs and MLAs could exercise their individual judgment.”