NEW DELHI: Launching a scathing attack on the opposition’s Presidential candidate Meira Kumar, the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday shared an old video of Meira Kumar as the Lok Sabha Speaker, in which she was seen "interrupting her" repeatedly on the floor of the Lok Sabha.
Upping the ante in this 'Dalit vs Dalit' fight, Swaraj claimed that Meira, the then Lok Sabha Speaker, had "interrupted" her "60 times in a 6-minute speech". Questioning the neutrality of Meira Kumar, Sushma captioned the video, "This is how Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar treated Leader of the Oppostion." Swaraj tweeted along with a link to the over six-minute-long video of her address in April, 2013.
During her speech in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, as the then leader of opposition in the lower house, was accusing the Prime minister Manmohan Singh led UPA government for scams by calling it "the most corrupt government" since Independence.
This is how Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar treated the Leader of Opposition - https://t.co/hxHWHaJ4D9— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) June 25, 2017
17 Opposition parties had declared Miera Kumar as their candidate for the Presidential post, days after the NDA declared Ram Nath Kovind as their choice, making it the second occasion when a Dalit will occupy the top constitutional office after K R Narayanan, who was the first Dalit in the Rashtrapati Bhavan in 1997-2002.
In the video, Kumar repeatedly said “thank you” and “all right” to Swaraj, indicating that the MP had to cut short her address. Swaraj had later said the Speaker did not "protect" her when a number of senior ministers raised a ruckus during the speech.
The external affairs minister also tweeted a link to a newspaper report with the headline “Speaker interrupted Sushma 60 times in 6-min speech.”
The daughter of the former deputy prime minister, the Jagjivan Ram, Kumar, 72, was also the first woman to be made the Lok Sabha Speaker, a post she occupied between 2009 and 2014, during the UPA's second term.
NDA Presidential candidate Kovind has a clear edge over Meira Kumar as former Bihar government is expected to bag over 62 per cent votes. However, even then he will fall short of the 69 per cent votes polled by incumbent Pranab Mukherjee in 2012.
As per mathematics, the odds are in favour of the saffron brigade candidate Kovind who is set to get around 7 lakh votes which is around two-thirds of the total 10,98,903 votes of the electoral college. While on the other hand, opposition candidate Meira Kumar can only fetch around 4 lakh votes despite the support of many regional parties like the RJD, traditional rivals the SP and the BSP and the TMC and the CPI-M.
(With PTI inputs)