The upcoming presidential election is not a contest between individuals but a battle between two opposing ideologies, former Union minister Yashwant Sinha said on Wednesday.

The former Trinamool Congress leader was on Tuesday named as the Opposition parties’ candidate for the presidential elections, scheduled to be held on July 18. The National Democratic Alliance has named former Jharkhand governor Droupadi Murmu as its candidate.

On Wednesday, Sinha said that he has great regard for Murmu, and had interacted with her when she was the governor of Jharkhand.

“I wish her well in this election,” he said. “However, this is a battle between two opposing ideologies.”

The former Union minister said that “leaders of one ideology” are hellbent on throttling the Constitution and want the president to merely serve as a rubber stamp.

“I am proud to belong to the other ideology that is determined to save the Constitution and the Republic,” he said.

Sinha said that if elected, he would uphold the basic values and guiding ideals of the Constitution without fear or favour.

“In particular, as the custodian of the Constitution, I shall not allow the light of democracy and secularism to be dimmed by the executive,” he asserted.

Sinha is slated to launch his election campaign from his home state of Jharkhand on June 24, according to the Deccan Herald.

Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged all MLAs from his state to support Murmu’s candidature, describing her as the “daughter of Odisha”.

On June 21, Patnaik had said that Murmu’s candidature for the president’s post was a proud moment for the residents of Odisha.

The votes for the presidential election will be counted on July 21. The last date for filing nominations is June 29.

The president is elected by the members of the electoral college consisting of MPs from both Houses of Parliament and MLAs of all states, including the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry.