“Not Time For Whataboutery”: Opposition Veep Candidate To Mamata Banerjee

Margaret Alva is the joint opposition candidate running for Vice President

New Delhi:

Margaret Alva, the joint opposition candidate running for Vice President, has criticised the Trinamool Congress’s decision to abstain from voting in the election. Mr Alva in a tweet reminded West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s party that the Vice Presidential election “isn’t the time for whataboutery, ego or anger”.

“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,” Ms Alva tweeted.

The ruling BJP’s Vice President candidate is Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, and Ms Banerjee had met with him and BJP’s northeast strategist and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma recently.

With the decision to abstain from voting, the Trinamool Congress has delivered the latest blow to opposition unity after parties like the Shiv Sena and the JMM supported Droupadi Murmu, the National Democratic Alliance candidate in the presidential election and now the President-elect.

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah has compared the unity among opposition parties to Greek mythological character ‘Chimera’, which has also come to mean an impossible idea or hope, and said ultimately political parties will do what is in their own interest.

“Opposition unity is a bit of a chimera. Ultimately political parties will do what’s in their own interest and that’s as it should be. Jammu and Kashmir saw this when we were left high and dry by ‘friends’ in 2019…” Mr Abdullah tweeted yesterday.

Ms Banerjee’s nephew Abhijit Banerjee had said the party unanimously decided not to support either Mr Dhankhar or Ms Alva.

“The question of supporting the NDA (BJP-led National Democratic Alliance) candidate doesn’t even arise. The way the opposition candidate was decided without proper consultation and deliberation with a party which has 35 MPs in both the houses, we have decided unanimously to abstain from the voting process,” the Trinamool Congresss MP told reporters.

Mr Dhankhar’s elevation as Vice President will move him out of Bengal to Delhi, and for Ms Banerjee, that is a huge win. The Chief Minister and Mr Dhankhar have clashed relentlessly over the past three years, with Ms Banerjee accusing the governor of hounding her at the instance of the BJP at the centre.

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