Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the opposition’s vice-presidential candidate, has expressed concern over the prevailing political atmosphere in the country, saying a “subtle fear pervades our politics today” that converts a “majority from an honest weightage of democratic opinion into majoritarianism”.“Two ways of life are now before us. One, that which wants Indians to have freedom of conscience, thought and speech so that the best ideas and energies can be devoted to raising the poor, the marginalised and the discriminated, making India a Republic for all its citizens,” he wrote in a letter to Members of Parliament (MPs). “Second, that which wants India to be dominated by one political ideology, one religious order, one majoritarian grip on all, making India a nation of stark, severe and strict uniformity. A subtle fear pervades our politics today. This converts a majority from an honest weightage of democratic opinion into majoritarianism, the very antithesis of democracy,” he said. Gandhi, 72, is pitted against NDA candidate M Venkaiah Naidu. With numbers favouring NDA, 68-year-old Naidu is considered a favourite to win the August 5 election. The electoral college comprises 543 elected and two nominated members of the Lok Sabha and 233 elected and 12 nominated members of the Rajya Sabha. The NDA’s strength stands at 550 out of the total 790 members in both Houses. In his letter, Gandhi urged MPs to use their “sovereign independent prerogative” of voting without any whip or political command, and choose a person who will support the President and Parliament in fulfilling their republican roles. Gandhi had earlier faced criticism from the ruling side, especially the Shiv Sena, for seeking mercy for 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon from the gallows.