Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Margaret Alva is the opposition’s joint candidate for the August 6 vice presidential election. “Opposition’s candidate for the post of Vice President of India is to be Margaret Alva,” said NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
The announcement came a day after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate said West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar will be its candidate for the Vice- Presidential election. “We tried to contact West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee but she was busy in some conference. We also tried to contact Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
He announced support (for Yashwant Sinha) a few days ago & will announce his support (for Margaret Alva) soon,” Pawar added. The opposition leaders finalised her name after a meeting held at the residence of NCP chief Sharad Pawar which was attended by all major opposition parties including the Congress, TMC, CPIM, RJD, SP, and others.
She has earlier served as the governor of Rajasthan. Margaret Alva was made Central Minister at the age of 42, which in those days was a rarity. Alva was born in Mangalore in 1942, grew up in different parts of the former Madras Presidency, and imbibed the culture of the state, parts of which now belong to Andhra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
Her father belonged to the Indian Civil Service. She was married into the Alva family, from Mangalore in South Canara, which has a composite culture. She was drawn into the political scene while staying with her in-laws, both parliamentarians.
She was elected for four successive terms to the Rajya Sabha, and one term in the Lok Sabha. Alva assumed several responsibilities, under Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Narasimha Rao.
Born in an agrarian household in a remote village in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district, NDA Vice Presidential candidate Dhankhar completed his school education from Sainik School, Chittorgarh.