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'Isn't the time for ego': Margaret Alva on TMC's decision to skip V-P poll

New Delhi: A day after the Trinamool Congress announced it would abstain from voting in the upcoming vice presidential election, Opposition candidate Margaret Alva on Friday termed the party's move as 'disappointing' and said it "isn't the time for whataboutery, ego or anger".

Taking to Twitter, the Opposition V-P candidate wrote, "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 & unity. I believe, @MamataOfficial, who is the epitome of courage, will stand with the opposition."

Trinamool Congress (TMC) General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Thursday said that the party will abstain from voting in the upcoming Vice Presidential poll.

"TMC will abstain in the upcoming VP polls as it was decided in the meeting. TMC will not support NDA candidate Jagdeep Dhankar for the Vice President election nor will it support Opposition candidate Margaret Alva in the election," said Abhishek Banerjee.

"We know how Jagdeep Dhankhar was when he was the West Bengal Governor. He attacked the people of Bengal and the Chief Minister in different ways. Hence we will not go with the NDA candidate at any cost," he said.

According to the TMC MP, the Opposition without consulting the TMC decided to go with Margaret Alva as the Vice Presidential candidate. "The candidates were announced by the Opposition without consulting TMC which has 35 MPs," he added.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday said the opposition should work unitedly."We want that the opposition should work unitedly. We will try to find the reason behind this sudden decision by TMC," said Kharge.

"We had proposed some names and those were in consultation. But the name was decided without our consultation. However, the Opposition unity does not depend on the yardstick of elections of President or Vice President. Alva has a very good equation with Mamata Banerjee but the personal equation does not matter," added the TMC General Secretary.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Thursday accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of having a pact with BJP and of trying to avoid any kind of enmity with the ruling party.

Speaking to ANI, Chowdhury alleged, "West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar is a Vice Presidential candidate, he often used to have a spat with the Chief Minister. A few days ago, Governor called Mamata Banerjee in Darjeeling and they had a meeting along with Assam Chief Minister Hemanta Biswa Sarma at the Darjeeling Governor's House. The next day he was announced as Vice Presidential candidate, which means there was a Darjeeling pact among them."

He further alleged that Mamata Banerjee, Hemanta Biswa Sarma and the Governor had an agreement that if she helps them then it will be good for them and that is why Yashwant Sinha, who was Mamata's candidate and did not get any help.

"Mamata Banerjee did not participate in the all-party meeting. When all the parties were signing the joint statement, even at that time the TMC party of Bengal was absent and did not sign. This means that she does not want enmity with BJP and I am saying this from my own experience," said Chowdhury.

On the allegation of TMC that the Opposition without consulting the party decided to go with Margaret Alva as the Vice Presidential candidate, the Congress leader said, "Margaret Alva's name was declared after consulting Mamata Banerjee. Yet today Mamata wants to abstain from voting. It means instead of voting for Margaret Alva, she wants that Dhankhar wins the poll with the maximum number of votes. That's why I am saying that this is a Darjeeling pact."

Dhankhar will face Opposition candidate and veteran Congress leader and former Union minister Margaret Alva in the August 6 Vice Presidential election. (ANI)

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