Congress leader on Murmu as President

Congress leader on Murmu as President: Congress leader Ajay Kumar said that Droupadi Murmu should not be used as a ‘symbol of adivasi’ because the condition of scheduled castes has become worse in India.

National Democratic Alliance (NDA)’s Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu. (Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times)

Droupadi Murmu represents a ‘very evil philosophy of India’, Congress leader Ajoy Kumar said Wednesday, stirring up a controversy days before the presidential election. The Congress is part of an opposition alliance that has named former union minister and ex Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha as its candidate for the July 18 election.

Kumar alleged the condition of scheduled castes in India had become ‘worse’ and that Droupadi Murmu should not be used as an ‘Adivasi symbol’ by the ruling party.

Droupadi Murmu “Represents Very Evil Philosophy Of India”: Congress Leader

“It’s not about Droupadi Murmu. Yashwant Sinha is also a good candidate and Murmu is also a decent person. But she represents a very evil philosophy of India. We should not make her a symbol of ‘Adivasi’. We have President Ram Nath Kovind (and) Hathras (the gang rape and murder of a young Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh) happened. Has he said a word? The condition of scheduled castes has become worse,” Kumar was quoted by news agency ANI.

Calling the polls a ‘fight for the soul of the nation’, the Congress leader also vouched for Yashwant Sinha, now with the Trinamool Congress, and reached out to ‘like-minded parties’.

Droupadi Murmu represents the ‘evil philosophy of India’, says Congress leader Ajoy Kumar

“Creating symbols and fooling the people of India is what the Modi government is all about. This is a fight for the soul of the nation and all like-minded parties should vote for Yashwant Sinha,” he said.

The comments drew a predictably sharp reaction from the BJP.

BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala took to Twitter and said Congress had insulted Murmu. “Ajoy Kumar (of) Congress (said) Droupadi Murmu represents a very evil philosophy so we should not make her a symbol of ‘Adivasi’. After calling Droupadi JI ‘dummy candidate’ (Puducherry Congress handle) now this! This is how Congress insults India’s first woman tribal president candidate,” the tweet read.

‘Droupadi Murmu represents a very evil philosophy’: Congress’s Ajoy Kumar kicks up a major row

Amit Malviya, the BJP’s IT cell in charge, also tweeted, saying Droupadi would ’empower tribals’ if voted to office. “At a time when the NDA, led by PM Modi, has announced Smt Draupadi Murmu, a woman from Adivasi Samaj, as its nominee for the President’s office, a move that will significantly empower the tribals… Congress leader calls her evil by association! Just because she is tribal. Shame,” he wrote.

Droupadi Murmu, who has an upper hand in the race for president, will be the first tribal President of India if elected, and the second woman to hold the post – after Prathiba Patil.

Born to a tribal family living in a village in Mayurbhanj, a backward district in Odisha, Murmu completed her studies despite challenging circumstances. She rose from being a regional chief of BJP’s ST Morcha in Odisha to a national executive member of the party in 2013.

She was the first woman governor of Jharkhand, serving from 2015 to 2021.

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