INDIA. Mumbai: While NDA has announced Jagdeep Dhankhar (71) as its candidate to elect 16th vice-president of India, the 17-party Opposition announced former Union minister and veteran Congress leader Margaret Alva (80) as its candidate for Vice Presidential election, on Sunday.
Her nomination was announced by NCP leader Sharad Pawar after an all-party meeting by the Opposition parties in New Delhi. Alva will file the nomination on Tuesday.
The meeting was attended by all major opposition parties, including Congress, TMC, CPIM, RJD, SP, and Shiv Sena. However, the representatives of the Trinamool Congress and Aam Admi Party were not present at the meeting.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut after the announcement said that all the opposition parties are together in this election. Talking about Shiv Sena’s support for Draupadi Murmu in the Presidential election, he said that, “Droupadi Murmu is a tribal woman and there is a sentiment for tribals in the country.”
“Many of our MLAs and MPs are also from the tribal community. That’s why we supported her. But, here in this alliance, we will support Margaret Alva,” he added.
“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 tweeted.
Margaret Alva was born on April 14, 1942, in Mangalore in Karnataka. Like Jagdeep Dhankhar, Alva too practiced law before her foray into active politics. She was elected to Rajya Sabha in 1974 as a representative of Congress. A five-term Member of Parliament, Alva has held the Parliamentary Affairs and Youth Affairs portfolios in the Central cabinet.
She has served as the 17th Governor of Goa, the 23rd Governor of Gujarat, the 20th Governor of Rajasthan, and the fourth Governor of Uttarakhand.
The election is scheduled for August 6 and is likely to be symbolic, given the NDA’s clear majority in Parliament. Dhankhar is expected to succeed Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu whose term of office comes to an end on August 10.
The Vice President will be elected by the Electoral College comprising 233 elected members of Rajya Sabha, 12 nominated members of Rajya Sabha, and 543 elected members of Lok Sabha, adding up to 788 members.
In the system of proportional representation using the single transferable vote, the elector has to mark preferences against the names of the candidates.