Opposition picks Alva for VP

The name of Alva, who has also been Governor of Uttarakhand and Rajasthan, was decided after opposition parties met at NCP supremo’s Sharad Pawar residence….reports Asian Lite News

Veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister Margaret Alva was on Sunday announced as the opposition’s Vice Presidential candidate.

The name of Alva, who has also been Governor of Uttarakhand and Rajasthan, and hails from Karnataka, was decided after opposition parties met at NCP supremo’s Sharad Pawar residence.

Meanwhile, Alva on Sunday 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 on 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 on 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.

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 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.

The last date for nominations for the post of Vice President is July 19 and the polls for the coveted post will be held on August 6.

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu’s term ends on August 10.

The NDA has fielded West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar for the post.

BJP chief J.P. Nadda announced the name of Dhankhar after the Parliamentary Board meeting at party headquarters on Saturday evening.

Shiva Sena to back Alva

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Sunday said the party will support the opposition’s Vice Presidential candidate Margaret Alva.

He added that for the Presidential poll, Sena will lend support to Droupadi Murmu out of “sentiment” as Murmu is a tribal woman and Maharashtra is largely tribal.

While talking to ANI, Raut said, “Droupadi Murmu is a woman.. belongs to tribal society..Maharashtra is largely tribal..Many of our MPs and MLAs are tribals..There is a sentiment with Murmu..Our party leaders also have sentiments about Droupadi Murmu, that’s why President of Shiv Sena has spoken of supporting Murmu as a candidate, while Shiv Sena will support Margaret Alva as its Vice Presidential candidate.”

Earlier, soon after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar as the Vice Presidential candidate, a meeting of Opposition parties was held to decide the opposition’s candidate for Vice President.

However, Trinamool Congress party supremo Mamata Banerjee and leaders from Aam Aadmi Party gave the meeting a miss.

The leaders from 17 opposition parties including Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M), Telangana Rashtriya Samithi (TRS), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Shiv Sena, Congress, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), met at Pawar’s residence and decided to announce Margaret Alva as opposition’s candidate for Vice Presidential election.

“Mamata Banerjee was busy in an on-board meeting, due to which she could not attend the meeting, but I am in touch with her and the talk happened before today,” said Pawar.

Congress leader Malikarjun Kharge said, “Today the opposition candidates have been decided but Mamata Banerjee is busy in a meeting due to which the talks have not happened but Sharad Pawar is in touch with Mamataji.”

Among the attendees were Ram Gopal Yadav from Samajwadi Party, Sitaram Yechury from CPI(M), K.K from TRS in Sharad Pawar’s house meeting. Keshava Rao, AD Singh from RJD, Sanjay Raut from Shiv Sena, Jairam Ramesh and Malikarjun Kharge from Congress, ET Mohammad Bashir from IUML, Vaiko from MDMK, TR Balu from DMK and Trichysiva from VCK attended the meeting.

Thirumavalavan and Ravi Kumar, D Raja and Binoy Biswam from CPI and Jose K Mani from Kerala Congress(M), National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah were also present in the meeting. (ANI)

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