Sheohar: Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav, while referring to NDA's presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu and comparing it with Opposition's candidate Yashwant Sinha, said that polls will be held for the election of the President and not to install "any statue" in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
"We don't want any statue in Rashtrapati Bhavan, we are electing the President. You must have always heard Yashwant Sinha but we have never heard the voice of the presidential candidate(Droupadi Murmu) of the ruling party," the RJD leader said on Saturday.
Further asking media persons, Tejashwi said, "neither they nor the media have ever heard Murmu." "I don't think even you would have heard her voice (to the media). She hasn't held a single press conference since she became a candidate," he added.
The remarks of the RJD supremo Lalu Yadav's son came days ahead of the presidential polls which are to take place on July 18, on the first day of the Monsoon Session of the Parliament.
Notably, RJD has already announced its support for Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha. However, its ally Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has announced its support to Murmu, which came as a setback for the Lalu-led party.
Moreover, various parties have extended their support to the NDA candidate including Congress ally Shiv Sena, Samajwadi Party ally Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), and Akhilesh Yadav's uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav has also extended his support to Murmu.
YSR Congress Party, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Shiromani Akali Dal have already extended their support to Murmu.
Congress also criticised Murmu's nomination
Recently, Congress leader Ajoy Kumar kicked off a controversy, saying that Murmu represents a "very evil philosophy of India" and should not be made a "symbol of Adivasi", a remark which drew a sharp reaction from the BJP.
"It's not about Droupadi Murmu. Yashwant Sinha is also a good candidate and Murmu is also a decent person. But she represents a very evil philosophy of India. We should not make her a symbol of 'Adivasi'. We have President Ram Nath Kovind, Hathras happened. Has he said a word? The condition of Scheduled Castes has become worse," Kumar said.
Calling the presidential elections a "fight for the soul of the nation", the Congress leader said that all like-minded parties should vote for the Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha.
"Creating symbols and fooling the people of India is what the Modi government is all about. This is a fight for the soul of the nation and all like-minded parties should vote for Yashwant Sinha," he said.
Droupadi Murmu was a national executive member of BJP's ST Morcha from 2013 to 2015 and served as BJP district chief of Mayurbhanj (West) in 2010 and 2013. Between 2006 and 2009, she was chief of BJP's ST Morcha in Odisha. She was a member of the national executive of BJP ST Morcha from 2002 to 2009.
BJP hits back
Hitting back at Kumar, BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala said Congress has insulted Murmu.
"Ajoy kumar #Congress Droupadi Murmu represents a very evil philosophy so we should not make her as a symbol of "adivasi" After calling Droupadi ji "dummy candidate" (Puducherry Cong handle) now this! This is how Congress insults India's first woman tribal president candidate," Poonawala tweeted.
The presidential polls are slated to be held on July 18 while the counting of votes will take place on July 21.