Compared to Murmu, I’ve done a lot more for the tribals, and I’m happy of my BJP record: Yashwant Singh Sinha

Yashwant Sinha, the opposition candidate for president, said Thursday that he had done “far more” for Scheduled Tribes and other disadvantaged populations than his NDA challenger Droupadi Murmu, who served as governor of Jharkhand. Sinha said he was “proud” of his record as a member of the BJP headed by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, despite misgivings in certain quarters about the opposition’s support for him.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party, he said, is “unrecognisable” from the one headed by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. PTI quoted Sinha (84) as saying that the current presidential race is not a struggle of identity, but rather one of ideas.

“It’s not about who Murmu or Sinha are; it’s about who we are.” Asked what philosophy she represents in our country’s politics and what ideology I represent, he responded, “I stand for maintaining and safeguarding the democratic traditions of our country.” Sinha praised Murmu’s candidacy by saying, “She does belong to the tribal community,” a statement echoed by other governing coalition officials. But what has she accomplished? She served as the governor of the state of Jharkhand. Was she successful in making a difference in the lives of the indigenous people? Just because you were born into a specific group doesn’t mean you’re inherently its champion.“

He said, “Look at the budgets I submitted for five normal years while I served as finance minister. The Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and women were all given particular consideration in every budget. In the government where I was employed, it was the official policy. If it weren’t for the fact that I was not born into a tribal family, I could make the case that I have done more for underserved groups than she has.” He said that the BJP relies on identity politics, whilst the opposition uses ideology to make its point.

Murmu, a former bureaucrat-turned-politician, says he entered the presidential election with complete confidence that he would win, and he intends to hang on to that belief. “I’ve heard rumblings from many places that the parties in the centre will lean more toward the BJP than toward us. This is only the beginning. In the next few days and weeks, “things will change,” he said, adding that he intends to meet with representatives of every political party after submitting his candidacy papers on June 27.

He stated that he plans to tour all throughout the nation. In the beginning of our campaign, the BJP did not have a majority. It’s time to enter. In the competition, “I’m in it, and I’m going to make sure we put up a nice show,” he added.

According to Sinha, the President’s primary responsibility is to ensure that the Constitution is upheld and that the executive branch does not overstep its bounds. Executives can’t be controlled by someone who won’t say anything at Rashtrapati Bhawan because of that, he said.

There are several political parties in India now that backed the Vajpayee administration during his almost two-and-a-half-decade relationship with the BJP. He said that the BJP of yesteryear no longer exists.

In fact, anti-BJP parties like Trinamool Congress and the DMK were members of the Vajpayee administration at various times. One of India’s greatest parliamentarians and consensus builders was Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He would consult members of his own party as well as opposition parties on crucial topics, Sinha said, referring to the government’s policies on Iraq and Pakistan.

There is no such thing as unanimity in this (Modi’s) administration.” That BJP and current BJP are fundamentally different in this regard. He said that this BJP is unrecognisable. “Devaluation” of democratic institutions, especially the judiciary, has been blamed on the present administration, according to Sinha.