Congress leader Ajoy Kumar on Wednesday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party government creates symbols to fool India, ANI. Kumar added that National Democratic Alliance’s presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu should not be made into a symbol for Adivasis.

Murmu is the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA’s pick for the presidential polls that will take place on July 18. The Opposition has nominated former Union minister Yashwant Sinha.

“It is not about Droupadi Murmu or it is not about comparing the two candidates,” he said. “Yashwant Sinha ji is a good candidate. Murmu ji is also decent but she represents a very evil philosophy of India. This is a fight for the soul of the nation and all like-minded parties should vote for Sinha.”

Meanwhile, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs and BJP leader Arjun Munda said that Congress is frustrated because a person from the Adivasi community has been nominated to the president’s post. “Congress party should apologise to the country for such statements,” he said.

BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said that Congress has insulted India’s first woman tribal president candidate, reported The Indian Express.

Jharkhand BJP leader Babulal Marandi said the Congress did nothing for the Adivasis when it was in power at the Centre, ANI reported. “Ajoy Kumar’s statement shows what Congress thinks about tribals and women,” he added.

At the time of filing her nomination, the vote share for Murmu was around 50%.

The vote share has now crossed 60% with the support of Shiv Sena and other parties – the Biju Janata Dal in Odisha, Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party and Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh, Bahujan Samaj Party, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu, Janata Dal (Secular) and Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab.

The 64-year-old is from Odisha. She served as the governor of Jharkhand from 2015 to 2021.

Also read: Droupadi Murmu as President would be a triumph for the Sangh – but perhaps not for India’s Adivasis