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Allegations levelled against me motivated, says Pratibha

Thursday 5 July 2007

Special Correspondent

“I have always endeavoured to be true to my conscience”

Distinct honour to be a candidate for President’s post

Seeks votes of the electoral college in a spirit of humility

NEW DELHI: United Progressive Alliance Presidential candidate Pratibha Patil on Wednesday said all allegations levelled against her were “motivated.”

In her first official statement after her nomination papers were found to be in order, Ms. Patil said it was a “distinct honour” to be a candidate for the highest office of the world’s largest democracy. Direct contest

Wednesday was the last day for withdrawal of candidature. Ms. Patil will take on Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat in a direct contest on July 19.

Ms. Patil said she sought the votes of the electoral college in a spirit of humility. Under no circumstances should the campaign “directly or indirectly demean the dignity of the highest office.

Referring to the slew of allegations hurled against her by the Bharatiya Janata Party, she said, “In my over five decades of public life, I have always endeavoured to be true to my conscience. All the allegations against me are motivated and have already been answered.

Ms. Patil said that if elected she would discharge her duties and responsibilities consistent with the constitutional scheme and conventions established by her illustrious and distinguished predecessors. “Will poll more votes

Releasing the statement, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, who is Ms. Patil’s official agent, said she would poll much more than the 5.75-lakh-plus votes the ruling coalition and its supporting parties have.

He indicated that several small groups in various Assemblies were in touch with him, and the position would become clear in the coming days.

Asked if Ms. Patil would respond to the charges at a press conference, Mr. Dasmunsi said it was against convention for a Presidential candidate to hold such a meeting.

See online : The Hindu

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