SHILLONG: Opposition's presidential nominee Meira Kumar today said the country's secular fabric is in "danger", asserting that those in power should promote communal harmony and not "disrupt" it.
Kumar also said there is a definite move in the country to communalise people in the name of what one should eat, what one should see and how one should live.
The former Lok Sabha Speaker said she is contesting the presidential elections to fight against an ideology that has threatened and put the secular fabric of the country in danger.
"The need (to contest the presidential poll) has arisen because the atmosphere in the country has begun to threaten the secular fabric of the country," Kumar said while addressing the MLAs of the state.
Seeking the support of the legislators, she said her fight was against an ideology that "has challenged and is exceedingly putting in danger the communal harmony, social justice, inclusiveness, transparency and all that we have been standing for and held dear."
"This is the chance we have to make history and act in the best interest of our country for its progress and modernity and also for our next generation," she added.
Stating that India is a vast country with so many religions, ethnic groups, cultures and many ways of living in harmony, Kumar said, "Those in power should be able to always promote this harmony and not disrupt it."
Kumar expressed her gratitude to the 17 opposition parties for backing her against ruling NDA nominee Ramnath Kovind in the July 17 elections, saying they were doing so despite political differences.
In an indirect attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kumar said she failed to understand why, despite their "tremendous majority in Parliament and given their hold in the government," NDA leaders were "only talking and trying to distance themselves (from communal incidents) and no action is seen on the ground."
Appealing to the MLAs to listen to their inner voice, she said, "The inner voice of conscience carries more weight than numbers when people decide on moral ground and on grounds of principles and ethics and philosophy."
Besides Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, Leader of Opposition Donkupar Roy was present.
Kumar thanked Roy, president of the United Democratic Party that has eight MLAs, for his support.
"It is encouraging to find the Leader of Opposition with us. I am grateful the House is with us. People are with us and with our ideology that we are following,” she said.
NDA-ally National People's Party (having two MLAs) and Hills State People's Democratic Party (with four MLAs) did not attend Kumar's address.