Named by the opposition as its joint candidate for the presidential poll, Meira Kumar today appealed to the electorate to take their decision in the best interest of the country based on cherished values of social justice and inclusiveness and on principles and ideologies.
She also thanked the 17 opposition parties for supporting her candidature and said she is delighted by the opposition unity that represents the coming together of forces which have a strong ideological base.
"I would appeal to the collegium to take their decision on the best interest of the country, based on the cherished values and principles and ideologies.
"These are social justice, inclusiveness and values of composite Indian heritage which we hold so sacred," she told reporters after she was declared as the unanimous opposition candidate.
Kumar, a former diplomat and union minister who has also held the post of Speaker of Lok Sabha, is the daughter of former deputy prime minister and tall Dalit leader Jagjivan Ram.
Talking about the unity among opposition parties that came together to unanimously propose her name for the presidential election, she said, "this unity represents the coming together of the forces which have strong ideological base."
She said she was going to contest the election as the representative of a united opposition on the basis of the strong ideological base they have.
"I express gratitude to 17 opposition parties who selected me as a candidate for the presidential election," she said.
Sonia Gandhi earlier announced her as joint opposition candidate for the post of President of India, the election for which would be held on July 17. She will contest against NDA's nominee Ram Nath Kovind, also a Dalit.
Gandhi was supported by leaders of 17 opposition parties at the meeting where Kumar was chosen as their candidate for the presidential election.