Yashwant Sinha, the Opposition's candidate for Presidential polls, on Friday said the country does not need a "silent" President at a time when an attempt is being made to keep society divided on communal lines.
Speaking at a press conference here, the former Union minister also referred to the political upheaval in Maharashtra, saying "hunger for power" was dangerous.
The presidential election was a fight against an ideology "that has been taking the country downwards," he said. "The post of President is a dignified one. There are some duties of the President as per the Constitution, which should be discharged. We have seen in history that some presidents have honoured the post while some remained silent and could not succeed much in discharging their responsibilities," he said.
He further said that there is "unrest all around" in the country, and its root cause is an ideology "that wants to keep society divided on communal lines."
"I believe today we do not need a silent president who gets elected to the post but does not discharge constitutional obligations.
The president has the right to give suggestions to the government but if he or she is a puppet in the hands of the prime minister, then he or she will not do it," he asserted.
The government at the Centre does not believe in politics of integration but is indulging in politics of confrontation, he said.
"Hunger for power is very dangerous. You have seen what happened in Maharashtra (where the BJP has formed a government with Shiv Sena rebels). Does it raise the importance of our democracy," he asked.
Sinha also said that it was a matter of great concern that Central investigating agencies were being misused to target political opponents. When he was part of the government, he never thought of using investigating agencies against political opponents, said Sinha, who was a minister in the Vajpayee government.
"Today, `nanga naach' (shameless spectacle) of misuse of such agencies is being witnessed," he alleged. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel was also present during the interaction. Sinha, a former BJP leader, is pitted against the NDA-backed Draupadi Murmu in the election that will be held on July 18.