Sun, 24 Jul 2022 02:56 PM IST
Margaret Alva, who is opposition's joint candidate for the Vice Presidential elections 2022, might be fighting a lost battle due to Bharatiya Janata Party's vast majority in the Parliament and the growing disunity among non-BJP parties, but she feels the numbers can always swing.
In an exclusive interview with news agency PTI, the 80-year-old former Rajasthan Governor - who will launch her campaign for the polls on Monday afternoon - said the opposition can't skip the polls due to a shortage of numbers.
"Because the numbers are stacked against us, we should not fight the election? I think in a democratic system, win or loss, you have to accept the challenge and place your point of view before your MPs who are now in the electoral college. We have a different point of view from the government and the need is for those who are on a common platform to accept the challenge," she said.
"I was approached by the opposition parties to be their representative in this election, and though I had gone back to Bangalore and settled in, I thought this challenge had to be faced and I said yes. We all understand winning and losing are part of an election," she added.
Alva also spoke about the Trinamool Congress' decision to abstain from the Vice Presidential elections and said that she is "aghast" with the TMC's announcement. However, she said TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, who is "leading the entire movement to unite the opposition", has time to change her mind.
"It's like a family quarrel. There are sometimes differences, different perceptions, and maybe different situations. But, we will sit and talk and sort it out. She is very much part of us and her basic ideology is that of the Congress," Alva told PTI.
"I always consider her one of us. I believe we can sit and sort out any differences that have arisen. She has been fighting the BJP all along. There is no way she can help the BJP win," she added.
Talking about National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Droupadi Murmu's victory in Presidential elections 2022, Alva said opposition's Yashwant Sinha put up a strong fight despite allegations of cross-voting.
She stressed that a united opposition is needed to stop the Modi juggernaut in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, saying they must make use of the difference of opinion between the BJP and its allies to sink their boat.
"There are always differences of opinion, even between the BJP and its allies on many issues. Opposition parties are making efforts to sink their differences and work together. Before the general elections, I think they feel the need and the urgency of finding a common platform to face the challenge of 2024," Alva told PTI.
"There might be ups and downs, differences. But the intention is clear. They are concerned and they want to make a point. The Constitution has to be defended and democratic institutions have to be protected. We do not want a one-party rule," Alva added.