Ahead of the August 6 vice presidential election, the Opposition’s candidate Margaret Alva has written to all MPs saying, if elected, she will work to build bridges between different political parties, forge consensus on national issues and help restore the glory of Parliament.
In a letter to all members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, who form the electoral collage, Alva said the vice president’s election must be seen as a referendum on the manner in which Parliament is being run and the breakdown in the fundamental democratic process of building consensus on important national issues.
”If elected Vice President, I commit myself to work tirelessly to uphold the Constitution and to strengthen our parliamentary democracy. As Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, I will work to build bridges between different political parties, forge consensus on issues of national importance, and help restore the glory of Parliament,” she told the MPs in her appeal.
Alva said the support for her nomination from a large number of political parties is an acknowledgement of the over fifty years she has spent in public life, as a member of both Houses of Parliament, a Union Minister, a Governor, and a proud representative of India at the United Nations and on other global platforms. The BJP-led ruling coalition has fielded former governor Jagdeep Dhankhar for the vice presidential election.
In her appeal to MPs, Alva wrote, ”Today, Parliament is virtually at a standstill, with communication between members broken. There is distrust, anger, and the inability to debate issues of critical national importance without personal attacks and abuse. This diminishes Parliament and its members in the eyes of the people.” ”The time for change is now. The reason the election to the Vice President’s post is not subject to a party whip and is by secret ballot, is to give members an opportunity to vote without fear for a candidate they believe will do justice to this critical position. A candidate who will be impartial, fearless, and run the upper house in a manner befitting its stature.” Alva, a veteran Congress leader, said over these years she has worked for the country with integrity and commitment. ”My only aim has been to defend without fear, the Constitution of India…. I believe I am that candidate, and I’m writing to ask you for your support and your vote on August 6th,” she said in her appeal to the parliamentarians.