In 2002, the leftist parties of India nominated Captain Lakshmi as a candidate in the presidential elections. She ran a campaign across the country, addressing packed public meetings. She, the sole opponent to A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, lost 1 lakh to 9 lakh votes. While frankly admitting that she did not stand a chance of winning, she used her platform to publicly question a political system that allowed poverty and injustice to grow, and bred corruption and economic divide.