It will be a contest between joint Opposition candidate and former Union minister Margaret Alva and NDA nominee and West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar for the vice-presidentship.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar today announced after a meeting of the Opposition parties here that they have decided to field
Senior Congress leader Margaret Alva in the vice-presidential election to be held on 6 August.
The name of Alva, who has also been the Governor of Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Goa, and Gujarat was decided after Opposition parties met at NCP supremo’s Sharad Pawar residence.
The announcement came a day after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) 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 with 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, CPI-M, RJD, SP, and others.
The leaders who attended the Opposition meeting were — Ram Gopal Yadav from Samajwadi Party, Sitaram Yechury from CPI-M, K. Keshava Rao from TRS, AD Singh from RJD, Sanjay Raut from Shiv Sena, Jairam Ramesh and Malikarjun Kharge from Congress, ET Mohammad Bashir from IUML, Vaiko from MDMK, NK Prem Chandran from RSP, TR Balu and Trichishiva from DMK, Tol Thirumavalavan and Ravi Kumar from VCK, D Raja and Binoy Biswam from the CPI, Jose K Mani from the Kerala Congress and Farooq Abdullah from the National Conference.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu’s term ends on August 10.
The last date for nominations for the post of Vice President is July 19.
Alva expressed gratitude towards the Opposition parties for nominating her as the Vice Presidential candidate.
“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,” Alva said in a tweet.
She further thanked the leaders of the Opposition parties for putting faith in her.
“I accept this nomination with great humility,” Alva, who entered politics over 5 decades ago in 1969 by joining the Indian National Congress, said.
Five years later, she was elected to the Upper House of Parliament.
From 1975 to 1976, she served as the executive of the Congress Parliamentary Party.
First elected to Rajya Sabha in 1974, Alva was re-elected in 1980, 1986, and 1992.
In the mid-80s, Alva served as Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs.
In 1985, after the assassination of Indira Gandhi and the landslide electoral victory of Rajiv Gandhi, Alva was appointed as the Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Sports, Women, and Child development within the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
The same year, Alva attended the third United Nations World Conference on Women in Nairobi, and on her return to India, was instrumental in setting up a women’s cell within the Planning Commission (now Niti Aayog) and a number of Ministries.