Democracy stands "ruined" in the country, Yashwant Sinha, the joint nominee of the opposition parties in the upcoming presidential polls said here on Saturday. He said the presidential election should not be made a question of identity, but a fight for ideology.
Sinha, who was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet and an MP from Hazaribag, met the JMM executive president and state Chief Minister Hemant Soren and sought the party's support and attended a meeting of Congress legislators ahead of the July 18 presidential election.
"When I started the campaign (for the presidential poll) last month I had said that democracy is in danger. But now when I am concluding the campaign today, I can say that the democracy stands ruined in the country," Sinha said at a press conference later. "I appeal to the voters (the electoral college) to exercise their franchise after listening to the voice of their conscience," he said. Sinha, who hails from Jharkhand, had arrived in Ranchi on Friday.
JMM, which runs a coalition government with the Congress and RJD in the tribal state, had initially backed Sinha but later pledged its support to NDA presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu, much to the embarrassment of the coalition partners. Murmu, who is a Santhal like Soren, had earlier been a governor of Jharkhand. If elected she will be the country's first tribal woman president.