SHILLONG, July 5 -�With both the NDA and the UPA trying to woo the �Dalits� through their Presidential candidates for these communities, UPA�s Presidential nominee Meira Kumar today expressed regret on caste-based politics and said such �retrograde thinking� must go.
Addressing a press conference here today, Kumar said, India is poised for a great development with its �sophistication and modernity,� but questioned the retrograde caste system still entrenched in the country.�
To a question why the present Presidential election is being touted as a fight between two Dalits by the political parties instead of two capable individuals, Kumar expressed regret.��
Both Kumar and the NDA�s Presidential nominee are from the so-called backward castes. While Kumar is a lawyer and former diplomat besides being a five-time MP and former Speaker of the Lok Sabha her nomination as a �Dalit candidate� to counter NDA�s Kovind made more headlines.�
Kovind on the other hand is an equally qualified individual being the former Governor of Bihar. He practised law at the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court.
Asked about the NDA�s candidate and the numbers staked heavily against her, she said, numbers aren�t important, but conscience is.
She further said that an atmosphere has been created in the country which threatens to disrupt the social fabric and harmony. �The atmosphere is challenging. It is putting the communal harmony, social justice, transparency and all that we have stood for is in grave danger,� she added.��
During her address to the Legislators, Kumar said she is contesting the Presidential election based on ideology and asked them to seize the opportunity to create history by acting in the best interest of the country.�
Meanwhile, besides the Congress Legislators, the Opposition United Democratic Party today attended the meeting with Kumar. UDP has extended its support to Kumar.