Presidential poll is fight against 'divisive, communal vision': Sonia Gandhi

M Venkaiah Naidu with BJP national president Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he was announced NDA’s Vice Presidential candidate at BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Monday

Shiv Sena leader takes a dig at Gopal Krishna Gandhi over VP poll

Both Ms Kumar and Mr Gandhi also expressed similar views.

Opposition's Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates Meira Kumar and Gopalkrishna Gandhi, will hold an interactive session with the parliamentarians of the 18 non-NDA parties on Sunday, said informed sources.

According to the text of Gandhi's speech, she said, "We must stand more aware than ever of who we are, what we fought for in our independence struggle and what future we want for ourselves".

Gopalkrishna Gandhi will also start his campaign soon after filing his nomination for the vice presidential election to be held on August 5. "The election demands a vote of conscience to preserve the India that the Mahatma and that illustrious generation of freedom fighters, joined by thousands upon thousands of ordinary men and women, fought for", she added.

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Indeed, though the numbers are stacked against Ms. Kumar and Mr. Gandhi, Opposition leaders across the spectrum have been stressing that the significance of contesting these elections is to demonstrate that there is a political challenge to the Modi government and the BJP-RSS combine, and to help forge Opposition unity ahead of the next general elections.

Ms Kumar has appealed to the MPs and MLAs for a vote of "conscience" and the "inner voice" in her favour. This has brought together Opposition parties from Kanyakumari to Kashmir in a string. There is an atmosphere of fear everywhere now.

Meira is pitted against NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind, who is comfortably placed with the support of over 63% of the electoral college. However, the JD (U) backed the Opposition vice-presidential candidate Mr Gandhi.

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