Margaret Alva, former Rajasthan Governor, Declared Opposition’s Vice-President Candidate

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The Opposition on Sunday declared Margaret Alva, former Rajasthan Governor, as the candidate for the post of Vice-President. Addressing the media after a meeting attended by 17 opposition parties, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said, “Opposition’s candidate for the post of Vice-President of India to be Margaret Alva.”

Alva was the 20th governor of Rajasthan — the same state NDA’s Vice-President candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar belongs to. She has also served as the 17th Governor of Goa, 23rd Governor of Gujarat and 4th Governor of Uttarakhand, besides being a Cabinet minister.

“It is a privilege and an honour to be nominated as the candidate of the joint opposition for the post of Vice President of India. I accept this nomination with great humility and thank the leaders of the opposition for the faith they’ve put in me,” she tweeted.

Alva was zeroed in as the candidate at the opposition meeting held at Pawar’s residence. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, NCP’s Supriya Sule, SP’s Ramgopal Yadav, CPIM’s Sitaram Yechury, RJD’s AD Singh, senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Jairam Ramesh, among others, attended the meet.

TMC and AAP, however, skipped the meeting. “We tried to contact West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee but she was busy with some conference. We also tried to contact Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. He announced support (for Yashwant Sinha) a few days ago and will announce his support (for Margaret Alva) soon,” Pawar said.

The NDA on Saturday named West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, a Jat leader from Rajasthan with socialist background, as its vice-presidential candidate.

Dhankhar’s election as vice president, who is also the ex-officio chairperson of Rajya Sabha, is almost a certainty as the BJP has a majority in the electoral college comprising members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Out of Parliament’s current strength of 780, the BJP alone has 394 MPs, more than the majority mark of 390.

By making Dhankhar, a Jat, and a learned lawmaker, its candidate for the VP, the BJP has attempted to trigger the deep fissures within the opposition parties that claimed themselves to be representing the Jat community in various states, predominantly in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan, the state Dhankar belongs to.

For the 16th Vice Presidential Election, 233 elected members of Rajya Sabha, 12 nominated members of Rajya Sabha, and 543 elected members of Lok Sabha will vote.

(With PTI inputs)

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