Opposition’s candidate for the Vice President’s post, Margaret Alva has written a letter to the MPs across the party lines and said this V-P election should be seen as a referendum on how Parliament is being run.
“I’ve written to Members of Parliament, across parties, explaining why I think the VP election on Aug 6th is not just another election, but must be seen as a referendum on how Parliament is being run. The MPs have the power to bring about change. I’ve urged them to use that power,” she tweeted.
In the letter she said the Vice President’s election, in which only members of Parliament vote, is not just another election. “It 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, in which you, as the representative of the people, are an important stakeholder.”
She alleged that Parliament is virtually at a standstill, with communication between the members broken and 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. I believe I am that candidate, and I’m writing to ask you for your support and your vote on August 6th,” she wrote.
She said if she is elected as Vice President, she will commit herself to work tirelessly to uphold the Constitution and to strengthen parliamentary democracy. As Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, she will work to build bridges between different political parties, forge consensus on issues of national importance, and help restore the glory of Parliament.
She also mentioned that she has 50 years 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.