Yashwant Sinha, a joint Opposition nominee for president, said Rashtrapati Bhavan should have a “thinking and speaking” inhabitant.
He criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi for presenting Droupadi Murmu’s nomination papers.
“India needs an unbiased Rashtrapati, not a rubber stamp for the administration. The President must have his/her own mind and utilize it honestly, without fear or favor, if the executive or other institutions diverge from Constitutional ideals. I promise to be a President worthy of the Constitution’s high goal “Sinha told reporters.
The former union minister also criticized the Union government’s new defence recruiting plan, Agnipath, saying no requisite discussions were held.
He said Parliament’s Standing Committees on Defense weren’t consulted.
It was all done quickly, he continued, recalling the countrywide agitations against the program.
This won’t address unemployment, he said.
He also criticized the “barbaric” assassination of a tailor in Udaipur, Rajasthan, saying such violence has no place in a democracy and the culprits should be punished severely.
He also decried the arrest of Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair, claiming it was based on a false charge of offending religious sensitivities.
Ironically, the arrest came on the day India’s prime minister spoke eloquently at a G7 summit in Germany about the need to defend online and offline free expression.