Faced with a barrage of criticism from the opposition, UPA-Left presidential nominee Pratibha Patil on Friday dismissed the charges against her and said she had weathered many challenges in her long public life.
Addressing the Congress Legislature Party here as part of her campaign, she described the opposition's allegations against her as attempts to "tarnish her image".
She said she had faced many challenges in her life in spite of all the attempts to malign her image.
The upcoming election to the top post is a "significant moment" in the country's democratic history. After 60 years of independence, the highest office in the nation would be held by a woman, Patil said while expressing confidence about her victory.
Expressing gratitude for the support she had been getting across the country, she said her election would be "a victory for crores of people".
"I am aware of my responsibilities. I am deeply conscious of the great honour bestowed on me. I will serve with great humility and a deep sense of gratitude if elected," Patil, the first woman nominee for the top post, said in an address that lasted less than 10 minutes.
She reminded the Congress legislators of the challenges before the country, including poverty which has to be eradicated.
Patil praised the people of Bangalore, saying their talent and hard work had helped achieve a turnaround in the IT sector.