M Venkaiah Naidu said it was unfortunate that the Congress and Left parties are trying to rake up a controversy, where none exists.
Hyderabad: Referring to the proclamation of Emergency in 1975, signed by the then president, without a Cabinet decision, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday took a dig at the Congress saying the country needs a "constitutional president".
He also said it was unfortunate that the Congress and Left parties are trying to rake up an unseemly controversy, where none exists, by terming the upcoming presidential polls as an ideological battle.
"I do not see any reason for ideology to be dragged into the presidential election which should be kept above the routine of accusatory politics being indulged in by political parties," Naidu said.
Having a president, who goes by the Constitution, is all the more important as the country just observed the 42nd anniversary of Emergency, the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister said.
"In 1975, then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed signed a proclamation imposing Emergency without even a Cabinet decision, simply on the basis of a letter written by the then prime minister and thus trampled upon all democratic rights of the people," he said.
"Conscious vote is a matter of convenience for the Congress. Let us recall that it has used conscience to defeat its own official candidate Neelam Sanjiva Reddy," Naidu said.
Raising the pitch for the NDA's pick for the presidential polls, he said the country needs a "constitutional president" who simply adheres to the Constitution in its letter and spirit of and who is above politics.
"Protection of the Constitution should be the only ideology that he should be committed to and nothing else," Naidu said.
He said it is pertinent to mention that the President has no powers to make policies as they fall in the domain of the government, which comes to power on the basis of its ideology.
On the NDA picking Ram Nath Kovind as its nominee for the top post, Naidu said commitment to the Constitution is the sole criterion for a presidential candidate along with character, calibre and conduct.