President election 2022: Former union minister Yashwant Sinha on Monday filed his nomination as the common opposition candidate against NDA nominee Droupadi Murmu for the presidential election on July 18. A contest described by his supporters as a “battle of ideologies”.
After filing his nomination, Sinha in a press conference said: "I'm thankful to all the opposition parties who came together and chose me as their candidate. It's being said I am the 4th choice but I want to say that even if I was at the 10th one, I would've accepted because it's a big battle," said Yashwant Sinha, Opposition Presidential polls candidate.
Sinha added that the "President has certain responsibilities in the Constitution and it is his responsibility to be a part of the checks and balances".
The 84-year-old, accompanied by his wife Nilima and flanked by leaders of at least 15 opposition parties, including Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Akhilesh Yadav, Farooq Abdullah and K T Rama Rao, submitted four sets of nomination papers to Rajya Sabha Secretary General P C Mody, who is the returning officer for the 16th presidential election.
The first set of nomination papers had Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge as proposers, while the second set had Trinamool Congress leader Sudeep Bandyopadhyay as a proposer.
The other two sets had DMK supremo Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav as proposers. Each set of nomination papers was signed by 60 proposers and 60 seconders. Sinha paid Rs 15,000 in cash as a security deposit for the presidential election.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced his support to Sinha hours before he filed the nomination. Rao's son and senior minister K T Rama Rao led a delegation of party leaders to be by Sinha’s side in Parliament.
There was no representative from the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), which had endorsed Sinha’s candidature but was mulling backing Murmu, a tribal leader belonging to the Santhal community.
Leaders of the Shiv Sena too were not present as they were busy with the political crisis in the party's home turf Maharashtra.