Congress President nominee Meira Kumar debuts on Twitter


Union Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday posted a video of her Lok Sabha speech in 2013 in which the then Speaker, Meira Kumar, now an Opposition presidential candidate, is seen repeatedly interrupting the then Leader of the Opposition and seemingly not extending "protection" to Sushma against the disruptions caused by the then senior UPA Ministers.

"This is how Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar treated the Leader of Opposition", Sushma Swaraj tweeted, along with an April 2013 video of the Lok Sabha proceedings during the Budget Session.

Opposition presidential candidate Meira Kumar on Tuesday said she will start her election campaign from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad on June 30.

She is contesting against BJP's Ram Nath Kovind, who is also a Dalit.

The Twitter handle of the Indian National Congress, reminded Swaraj of the kind words she had said to Kumar in the speech. "I feel that caste should be buried in the deepest part of the earth and completely forgotten", she said.

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Leaders of 16 other parties supporting her, including NCP's Sharad Pawar, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad are also expected to be present at the filing of nomination.

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However the 72-year-old former Lok Sabha Speaker rejected the idea that the election was a Dalit versus Dalit battle, saying this reveals the society's mindset, where caste takes precedence over the candidate's merits.

Asked about alleged attacks on Dalits in the recent past, she said, "It is quite shameful". "I think this should not be read as something that would go against the Presidential candidate from the Opposition", Congress leader Tom Vadakkan told ANI. With her tweets Swaraj is perhaps trying to indicate that Kumar may have been partisan during her time as Lok Sabha speaker.