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Won’t support THIS candidate, TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee makes BIG announcement

KOLKATA: In a big setback to the so-called Opposition unity, Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee on Thursday said that his party will abstain from voting in the vice-presidential election. The announcement implies that the TMC will also not support the Opposition’s candidate Margaret Alva for the August 6 Vice Presidential election 2022.

The senior Trinamool Congress leader announced that his party has decided to abstain from the upcoming Vice-Presidential election as it does not agree with the way the Opposition candidate was chosen without keeping his party in the loop.

It may be recalled that the BJP-led NDA has nominated former West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar as its candidate for the election. Opposition parties on Sunday decided to field former Rajasthan governor Margaret Alva as their joint candidate for the poll.

Abhishek, however, also made it clear that TMC will also not support the NDA’s vice-presidential pick. “There is no question of supporting the NDA vice presidential candidate during the election. TMC objects to the way the Opposition nominee was decided without keeping the party in the loop,” Abhishek Banerjee said.

“After today’s meeting with party lawmakers, it has been decided that we will abstain from the vice-presidential election,” Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress national general secretary, said.

“We disagree with the process of announcing the Opposition candidate without keeping TMC in the loop. We were neither consulted nor was anything discussed with us. So, we can’t support the Opposition nominee,” he added further.

Both BJP and the Opposition have earlier urged TMC to extend support to their respective candidates. While Bengal BJP chief Sukanta Majumdar appealed to the TMC to support the NDA vice-presidential candidate, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said that the Opposition parties have reached out to TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal seeking support for Margaret Alva.