Opposition parties call for a President with secular credentials

Reeling under the BJP's advance after the recent elections, opposition parties, including Congress, Janata Dal-United and CPI-M, on Monday came together on a single platform to stop "communal forces" and emphasised the need to elect a President with secular credentials in the upcoming presidential elections.

IANS| Updated: May 01, 2017, 21:54 PM IST

New Delhi: Reeling under the BJP's advance after the recent elections, opposition parties, including Congress, Janata Dal-United and CPI-M, on Monday came together on a single platform to stop "communal forces" and emphasised the need to elect a President with secular credentials in the upcoming presidential elections.

The opposition parties, which also included CPI, NCP, JD-S, Samajwadi Janata Party, Socialist Party, and Loktantrik Samajwadi Party had gathered to mark the 95th birth anniversary of socialist leader Madhu Limaye as 'Unity of Progressive Forces'. 

Speaking on the occasion, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said, "If we have to save the country from fascists and communal forces, the only way forward is unity of progressive forces. They have to come together. The Opposition parties should keep away the difference and come together."

CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said, "There are a lot of questions on the presidential election. The question is whether the new President will be able to uphold the dignity of his office. 

"The question is whether the supervision from the Rashtrapati Bhavan will be secular or communal," he added.

"Not just communists or socialists but every secular force sitting here should come together," he said and appealed that everybody should come together to "choose a secular President".

Vowing for the unity of the opposition, JD-U Leader Sharad Yadav said that it should be strengthened outside Parliament too. 

"Opposition parties are together in the Parliament despite some differences but today's event is a step forward in the direction of an united opposition," he said.