Alva reaches out to CMs of Delhi, Karnataka, and Assam as part of VP poll campaign
Oppn VP candidate Margaret Alva

New Delhi: Opposition’s vice-presidential candidate Margaret Alva on Friday described the Trinamool Congress’s (TMC) decision to abstain from voting in the August 6 election as “disappointing” and said this is not the time for “whataboutery, ego or anger”.

Her reaction came a day after the Mamata Banerjee-led party announced that it will abstain from the vice-presidential election as it did not agree with the manner in which the Opposition candidate was decided, without keeping it in the loop.

“The TMC’s decision to abstain from voting in the VP election is disappointing. This isn’t the time for ‘whataboutery’, ego or anger. This is the time for courage, leadership and unity. I believe, Mamata Banerjee, who is the epitome of courage, will stand with the opposition,” Alva wrote on Twitter.

The leaders of 17 Opposition parties, at a meeting, decided to field Alva, a former governor of Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, as their candidate for the vice-presidential poll.

The leaders of the TMC and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were not present at the meeting that took place at the residence of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar last Sunday.

Pawar subsequently said he was in touch with both Mamata Banerjee and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal and was confident of getting their support.

The TMC and the AAP had supported the joint Opposition candidate for the presidential election, Yashwant Sinha.

The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has nominated former West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar as its candidate in the vice-presidential poll.

“There is no question of supporting the NDA candidate, especially Jagdeep Dhankhar. The TMC lawmakers have unanimously decided not to take part in the vice-presidential election,” national general secretary of the party Abhishek Banerjee said on Thursday, after a meeting of the party MPs at Mamata Banerjee’s Kolkata residence.

Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, alleged that the Opposition candidate was decided without proper consultation and deliberation with his party, which has 35 MPs in both houses of Parliament.

“We disagree with the process of announcing the Opposition candidate, without keeping the TMC in the loop. We were neither consulted nor was anything discussed with us. So we cannot support the Opposition nominee,” he said.

The MPs of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, including the nominated members, comprise the electoral college in the vice-presidential election.

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