New Delhi: Joint opposition candidate for Vice Presidential election Margaret Alva He may be fighting a losing battle with the numbers firmly standing against him and the growing divide among non-BJP parties, but he has said that he is hardly bothered and feels the numbers are always swinging. can.
“We cannot sit comfortably and say that we do not have the numbers, so we will not contest the elections,” he said.
With less than a fortnight left for the August 6 vice-presidential election, the former governor told PTI in an interview that Mamata Banerjee has “enough time” to reconsider her party Trinamool Congress’s decision to abstain from the polls. ” Is.
The multi-term MP also shared his views on the changes that have taken place in public life over the years.
“It’s scary when I look around,” she says. “You can’t eat what you want, you can’t wear what you want, you can’t say what you want, you can’t even meet the people you want. What time is it?” she says.
Alva will begin her election campaign on Monday afternoon with MPs from various parties in the Central Hall of Parliament.
The numbers are clearly against the opposition in the electoral college and some people ask why fight a losing battle?
A. Because the numbers are stacked against us, we should not contest the elections? I think in a democratic set up, win or lose, you have to accept the challenge and speak to your MPs who are now in the electoral college. We have a different approach from the government and we need people who are on a common platform to accept the challenge.
Opposition parties had approached me to be their representative in this election, and although I had gone back to Bangalore and settled down, I felt the challenge would have to be faced and I said yes. We all understand that victory and defeat are part of elections.
The opposition TMC has said that they will stay away from the Vice Presidential election. How do you see their situation?
I am shocked by that announcement. Mamata (Banerjee) has been leading the entire movement to unite the opposition. She has been my friend for many years and I believe she has had enough time to change her mind.
> Doesn’t this expose the split in the opposition?
A. It is like a family feud. Sometimes there are differences, different perceptions, and perhaps even different situations. But, we will sit and talk and sort it out. He is very much a part of us and his core ideology is that of Congress. I’ve always considered him to be one of us. I believe we can sit down and settle any differences. She has always been fighting with BJP. She cannot help the BJP win.
The recent presidential election has also exposed many troubles of the opposition. Cross voting took place in many states in favor of NDA candidate Draupadi Murmu.
A. It can happen like this and votes can come in this direction. Cross voting is something that has become the norm today. I think the idea of electing a tribal woman played a very important role and she deserves to be president. I congratulate him. She was the first tribal woman candidate and I am the first woman vice presidential candidate from the South.
> What is your objective in contesting this Vice Presidential election, knowing what the outcome will be?
A. The purpose is not mine. The opposition parties wanted a person acceptable to all of them and they requested me to be their candidate. And although the numbers are stacked against the opposition at the moment, I said yes and accepted the challenge.
We can’t just sit and say that we don’t have numbers, that’s why we don’t contest elections. And in a choice like this, the numbers can swing.
In the recently concluded presidential election, opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha alleged that money power was used in the elections.
A. The tragedy is that in today’s democratic system there is no mandate of the people. Take Karnataka, take Maharashtra, take Madhya Pradesh. In various states, the mandate of the people is ignored and muscle power, money power and threats change the structure of the elected structure.
> You have been a skilled politician and have been the Governor of four states. Do you think it would reflect better on national integration if the President and vice president Was elected unanimously?
a. I agree. So the government should think of supporting me. It would have been better if a consensus was reached for these two posts by talking to all the parties.
> How do you see Draupadi Murmu’s tremendous victory?
I think it was a foregone conclusion because MLAs also voted and BJP also had states. Nevertheless, I must say that Mr. Sinha fought a very impressive battle. He raised such issues and issues which are a matter of concern for the country today.
There is always a difference of opinion between the BJP and its allies on many issues. Opposition parties are trying to forget their differences and work together. Ahead of the general elections, I think they realize the need and urgency of finding a common platform to face the challenge of 2024.
There may be ups and downs, differences. But the intention is clear. They are concerned and they want to make a point. Constitution has to be protected and democratic institutions have to be protected. We do not want one party rule.
You have been the Presiding Officer in both the Houses of Parliament, what do you have to say on the politics of regular disruptions in Parliament?
A. This is very unfortunate. But the point is, why are there disruptions? This is because the Chair is unable to come to a compromise and devise a way in which the opposition’s point of view and their demands for discussion and debate can be included in the agenda of the House. You cannot pass 22 bills in just 12 minutes, without debate, without discussion, without any kind of thought. Even the budgetary grant has been passed in the House without debate. And it is taxpayers’ money that representatives should have an opinion on.
How can democracy work like this? The slogan of the government is either my way or not. They have been demanding a discussion on GST for the last three days. Due to the new GST rules, food items are being taxed and prices are rising. You don’t allow discussion and you don’t want to hear a point of view that differs from yours. It is people from outside – common people, voters, taxpayers.
> Questions have also been raised about the need for an Upper House, and it has been projected as a barrier chamber.
A. The Upper House has seen stalwarts who stood up, who fought, who disagreed, who attacked the government, and Indira Gandhi or whomever they wanted as prime minister. But there was a debate, you had the right to speak and you listened. After all, what is a Parliament but a chamber for discussion, debate and settlement and consensus building? The majority vote, let them vote, but the view of the minority in the House cannot be dismissed. They are the elected representatives of their states, their constituencies.
> Your opponents have been former Governors of West Bengal. your assessment.
A. He has been the governor, I have been the governor. He has been a lawyer and so have I. Well, he is fighting a woman in the state (West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee), and now he is fighting another woman in the election. Something in his stars. He has also been an MP and a minister.
> He is also known for his strong political positions.
A. Therefore, he is being rewarded. I have also been governor and you are considered non-partisan. You should help in your government work. There is a Lakshman Rekha, which you have to keep in mind after entering the Raj Bhavan. You cannot sit there and act as a representative of your party. I think it is immoral and unconstitutional.
> It’s strange that you don’t have any kids in politics, even though you come from a political family.
My youngest son is in politics. My father-in-law was the first couple in Parliament, both were freedom fighters.
> What do you have to say on dynasty politics, because the Prime Minister has been attacking family based parties.
A. How many are there in BJP? I don’t want to take his name. Each political party has its own quota of family members who either succeed or come after their parents or grandparents. If a doctor’s son or lawyer’s son can join his profession, or a businessman’s son joins his business, then what is wrong with family members coming to (politics). But they should come on merit basis. They have to contest elections. They have to accept the people. In a democracy, if people choose you, you are in and if people reject you, you are out. In the 1977 elections, both Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi were defeated. The final barometer is acceptance by the people.
> Have you always wanted to be in politics or was it just a coincidence?
A. I never thought that I would enter politics, although I was very active in the student movement. I got married in a political family and came to Delhi. When I got married, I had no intention of joining politics. The split of the Congress in 1969 ignited the youth to support Indira Gandhi. At that time my mother-in-law had passed away and there was tremendous pressure on her to step up. The rest is history.
> How do you see your innings in politics?
A. I must say it was a different world when we came. There was idealism, there was a commitment that we had to fulfill. Those were the early years of India’s independence. There were problems, but a sense of a United Nations without distinction of community and religion. Caste politics has always been there. But, that was not what it is today. There was tolerance, there was acceptance, there was understanding. A tolerant society, if I may say so.
Today when I look around, I get scared. It is a different world altogether. You can’t eat what you want, you can’t wear what you want, you can’t say what you want, you can’t even meet the people you want. What is this time?
Look at the Central Hall of Parliament. It was a place where you fought in the House but came out and sat together and joked, had a cup of coffee or tea or dosa together, and made fun of the fight in the House. Now people are afraid to sit. I had some BJP friends with whom I had a cup of tea and I was told that they were asked what they were talking about with me.
> Who has been your political mentor?
Let me be honest – Indira Gandhi. After hearing me at a public forum in the state, he elected me to the Parliament. And, of course, my father-in-law with whom I worked very closely. But let me make it clear that after the 1969 Partition I rose from a Block President, the lowest unit of the Congress Party, and have held every post and became the General Secretary. But my party and its leadership gave me a chance. I became an MP, a minister and a general secretary. Hard work, commitment and honest politics have been my message.