The Telangana Rashtra Samithi will back Opposition candidate Margaret Alva in the Vice-Presidential elections scheduled to be held on Saturday, August 6. The announcement at the eleventh hour came after much deliberation within the party despite having backed Yashwant Sinha, the Opposition candidate, in the Presidential elections held last month.
“TRS will support opposition candidate Margaret Alva in Vice Presidential poll,” party leader Keshav Rao, the parliamentary leader of the TRS, said on Friday. Rao said TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao has decided to support the combined opposition candidate Alva and the party MPs have been advised to vote accordingly. Alva, who been fielded by the Opposition against the ruling NDA’s nominee Jagdeep Dhankhar, will also meet TRS MPs in the evening, he added.
The TRS had sided with the opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha in the Presidential elections but had remained undecided for a long time over its support for Alva. One possible reason behind the party’s reluctance in backing Alva is that she is a Congress leader, unlike Sinha. That backing Alva would provide BJP with fodder to attack the TRS may also have played on the minds of party leaders.
Also, TRS leaders had said that at the time of the Presidential elections, KCR had received a call from NCP supremo Sharad Pawar seeking his support for Sinha. However, KCR had not received any such call from the TRS till two days ago, it has been learnt.
The TRS’ backing comes a day after the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party also announced its support to Alva. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, which had backed Droupadi Murmu, has also declared that it will back Alva in the August 6 polls. Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, which had backed Sinha in the Presidential polls, has decided to abstain from the VP elections on grounds that it was not consulted before Alva’s name was announced. The Congress has denied the allegation.
The Vice-Presidential elections will be held on Saturday, August 6. The results will be declared the same day.