Opposition’s Vice-President Pick Margaret Alva Speaks Of Need For Unity

Margaret Alva said, “I have no differences with Sonia Gandhi at all”.

New Delhi:

Margaret Alva, the opposition candidate for the post of the Vice-President of India told NDTV today that she has agreed to stand for the election as a “concerned citizen” because of the “situation” in the country. “The way institutions of democracy have been undermined, the way parliamentary function has deteriorated, the way things are happening,” she added.  

There was also another factor: “The important issue was to get all the opposition together. The need for opposition unity is the most important thing.”

Ms Alva, five-time parliamentarian, former Union minister and Governor, has been pitched against former Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar who has been fielded by the NDA.

Asked about her prospects in face of the government’s numerical advantage and the possibility of support from parties like the Aam Aadmi Party, Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal and and Trinamool Congress, which have remained non-committal, she said efforts are being made to approach them.  

“I have great faith in the leadership of these states and I am approaching them and will hope they find it worthwhile supporting me,” she said.

She also indicated that she is banking on personal relationships cultivated over the 50-odd years spent in politics. “I have great faith in these friends of mine… There are 2 weeks to go, you will see a change as we go along,” she said.

Asked if her differences with party chief Sonia Gandhi have been sorted, Ms Alva denied that they have not always been on the same page.

“I have no differences with Sonia Gandhi at all. Whatever I have said, I have explained my position… after that, she made me a governor for five years… I have no problems with Sonia and Rahul Gandhi,” she added.

Long before the G23, Margaret Alva had been an in-house critic of the Congress and there have been reports of internal squabbles after her book “Courage & Commitment: An Autobiography” was published.

Asked about the downward spiral the Congress is going through, Ms Alva said there are challenges in every party.

The Congress, she said, is facing these challenges. “The BJP had two seats at one time and they moved on. You don’t know who will be where tomorrow. I have faith Congress will be able to fight back from this downward phase,” she added.

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