Former Union minister Margaret Alva will be the Opposition’s candidate for the election to the vice president’s post that will be held on August 6, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar said on Sunday, according to ANI.
Alva accepted the nomination and thanked the Opposition leaders for naming her as their 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,” she wrote in a tweet.
The decision was taken during a meeting at Pawar’s residence in Mumbai, The Indian Express reported. Seventeen parties from the Opposition agreed on Alva’s name, the Nationalist Congress Party chief said.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s TR Baalu, the Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut and the Communist Party of India’s D Raja were among those who attended the meeting. However, no representatives of the Trinamool Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party were present.
Pawar said that Opposition leaders tried to contact Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, but she was busy with a conference, according to ANI. The Opposition leaders also attempted to contact Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, he said.
Margaret Alva, a Congress leader, had served as the Union minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions from 1991 to 1996. She has also served as the governor of Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.
On Saturday, the Bharatiya Janata Party nominated West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar as its candidate for the vice presidential election. BJP chief JP Nadda described Dhankhar as a “kisan putra” (son of a farmer) who established himself as the “people’s governor”.
The term of the current Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu ends on August 10.
The electoral college for picking the vice president comprises Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs. Of Parliament’s current strength of 780, the BJP alone has 394 MPs, more than the majority mark of 390.