Ex-Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva is Opposition's pick for vice president
The Opposition on Sunday put all speculations to rest and named Margaret Alva, senior Congress leader and former Rajasthan Governor, as the candidate for the post of vice president. The announcement was made by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar after a meeting of 17 Opposition parties. Alva is a five-time Member of Parliament and a former Union minister.
Alva was the 20th governor of Rajasthan, also the home state of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) vice presidential candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar. She was also the 17th governor of Goa, the 23rd governor of Gujarat, and the fourth governor of Uttarakhand, in addition to being a Cabinet minister. She also served in Parliament five times: in 1974, 1980, 1986, 1992, and 1999.
"It is a privilege and an honor to be nominated as the candidate of the joint opposition for the post of Vice President of India," Alva tweeted. She expressed gratitude to the Opposition leaders and said she accepted the nomination with great humility.
Alva's name was chosen at the Opposition gathering held at Pawar's residence. Senior leaders from the Shiv Sena, NCP, Samajwadi Party, CPI (M), RJD, and Congress, among others, attended the meeting. The TMC and AAP did not attend the meeting. Pawar, on the other hand, claimed that both TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and AAP National Convener Arvind Kejriwal would back Alva.
The NDA announced West Bengal Governor Dhankhar as its vice presidential candidate on Saturday. Dhankhar is a Jat leader from Rajasthan with a socialist background. By nominating Dhankhar for vice president, the BJP has sought to incite significant divisions among Opposition parties claiming to represent the Jat minority in various states, especially Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Rajasthan, the state Dhankar belongs to.