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TMC To Abstain From Voting in Vice-Presidential Election: Abhishek Banerjee

The vice-presidential election will be fought between Jagdeep Dhankhar and Margaret Alva.

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Politics
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The Trinamool Congress will abstain from voting in the upcoming vice-presidential elections, party general secretary Abhishek Banerjee said on Thursday, 21 July.

The vice-presidential election, scheduled to be held on 6 August, will see a contest between the National Democratic Alliance candidate and former West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the Opposition's joint candidate Margaret Alva.

"TMC will not support NDA's vice-presidential candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar. The party will abstain from the upcoming vice presidential polls as it was decided in the meeting," Banerjee was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
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'TMC Not Kept In Loop While Deciding Oppn's VP Candidate'

He also objected to the Opposition's candidate pick, claiming that the TMC was not kept in the loop regarding the decision.

"Supporting an NDA (VP) candidate doesn't even arise and the way the Opposition candidate was decided, without proper consultation and deliberation with a party that has 35 MPs in both the Houses, we have unanimously decided to abstain from the voting process," Banerjee said.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar had, however, countered the TMC's claims, saying, "We tried to contact West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee but she was busy in some conference."

The TMC MP further said that while Alva shares a good equation with CM Banerjee, the vice president of the country would not be decided upon based on personal equations.

"Margaret Alva shares a very good equation with Mamata Banerjee, but the vice president of the country isn't going to be elected based on personal equations. 85 percent of our MPs decided that we should refrain from voting," the party's general secretary said.

The TMC had earlier indicated that its MPs would not attend a meeting called by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge to deliberate on the Opposition's vice-presidential candidate.
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WB Governor Dhankhar and the Mamata Banerjee-led government had been at loggerheads ever since the former assumed his post in July 2019.

On a number of occasions, Dhankhar had accused the TMC of "misgovernance." The state's ruling party, on the other hand, had accused the governor of being an "extension of the central government".

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief JP Nadda on 16 July announced Dhankhar's candidature for the vice-presidential post.

Making the announcement, Nadda had lauded Dhankhar as a "kisan putra" (farmer's son) who established himself as a "people's governor."

The Opposition announced the candidature of Alva a day later.

(With inputs from ANI.)

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