New Delhi [India], June 22 (ANI): Noting that his name came as "fourth choice" among opposition presidential candidates, former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha on Wednesday said he happened to be "second choice" many times earlier in his life and used the opportunity in the national interest. He also said that he will be "more constitutional" if elected as President than the NDA candidate Draupadi Murmu.
"I admit I was the fourth candidate after three potential candidates declined. The opposition parties agreed on the name of the fourth candidate. Many times in my life it has happened that I have been the second choice. Despite being the second choice, I have fully utilized it in the national interest. I am the fourth choice so our chances of winning also double," Sinha told ANI.
Sinha was declared presidential candidate by opposition parties on Tuesday. NCP leader Sharad Pawar, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi had declined to be presidential nominees of opposition parties.
Asked about his prospects against the BJP-led NDA candidate for the presidential election slated for July 18, Sinha said it was a battle of issues and to "save the constitution".
"If I am not able to win the election, should I withdraw? When we are in the battlefield, we fight with full might. I have already said we do not have any personal fight with Droupadi Murmuji. I know her very well and convey my best wishes. But this is a battle of issues. It is to save the Constitution of India and I can tell you with confidence that I will be more constitutional when I will be in President House than the NDA candidate," he said.
Asked about JD-U announcing support to Droupdi Murmu, Sinha said he will seek everyone's support.
"If we are contesting elections then we have to meet every voter, will ask for everyone's support. I have a special right over Bihar and Jharkhand because I belong there," he said.
Sinha will file his nomination papers on June 27 and begin the campaign from Bihar and Jharkhand.
Droupadi Murmu, a former Jharkhand Governor and a former Odisha minister, was on Tuesday declared as NDA's presidential candidate.
She had told ANI on Tuesday that she was surprised to learn of her candidature. Droupadi Murmu had also said that she will work according to the powers of the President in the constitution.
"I'm surprised, I wasn't able to believe it. I'm thankful, do not wish to speak much. Whatever powers are there of a President in the Constitution, I'll work accordingly," she had said.
Asked about Yashwant Sinha being declared the opposition candidate, the NDA candidate said she will seek support from all parties.
"There are candidates. Our work is to go to people, reach out to members of the electoral college and seek their cooperation. I'll request all parties and states for support," she had said. (ANI)