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Margaret Alva is joint Opposition candidate for vice presidential poll

I accept this nomination with great humility and thank leaders for faith they've put in me: Ex-governor
Margaret Alva.
Margaret Alva.
File photo

Our Bureau, PTI   |   New Delhi   |   Published 17.07.22, 10:49 PM

Opposition parties on Sunday decided to field former Rajasthan governor Margaret Alva as their joint candidate for the Vice presidential election to take on NDA nominee Jagdeep Dhankhar.

The decision to field Alva was taken at a meeting of leaders of 17 parties at the residence of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar.


However, hours after Pawar announced her candidature, Naveen Patnaik-led BJD and YSRCP extended support to Dhankhar, who is now assured of a comfortable win in the August 6 election.

Alva (80) would file her nomination papers on Tuesday, July 19 - the last date for filing nominations.

"We have unanimously decided to field Margaret Alva as our joint candidate for the post of Vice President," Pawar announced after the two-hour meeting.

"Our collective thinking is Alva will file VP nomination on Tuesday," he added.

He said a total of 17 parties have unanimously taken the decision to field her and with the support of Trinamul Congress and Aam Aadmi Party, she will be the joint candidate of a total of 19 parties.

"We are trying to contact Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal. Last time they supported our joint presidential candidate," he said, adding that even JMM is together with opposition parties in this election.

Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut said, "We are all together in this election".

Alva thanked all the opposition parties for the faith they have put in her by making her their joint candidate.

The Congress veteran's political career spanned over four decades in the grand old party, starting as a young Congress worker and retiring as the Governor. Suave and soft-spoken Alva has held many positions in the party as well as the government during Congress rule. She has also worked with four prime ministers.

"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. Jai Hind," Alva tweeted soon after the opposition parties announced her name.

Among the attendees at today's meeting at Pawar's residence were Congress' Mallikarjun Kharge and Jairam Ramesh, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, CPI's D Raja and Binoy Viswam, Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut, DMK's T R Baalu and Tiruchi Siva, SP's Ram Gopal Yadav, MDMK's Vaiko and TRS' K Keshava Rao.

The RJD's A D Singh, IMUL's E T Mohammed Basheer and Kerala Congress (M)'s Jose K. Mani were also present.

The TMC was absent at the meeting. Pawar said he had tried to contact Mamata Banerjee but she was busy in a meeting.

The TMC which took the lead while choosing the joint opposition candidate for the post of President has remained silent on the choice of the Vice Presidential candidate as the government announced Jagdeep Dhankar, governor of West Bengal as its candidate.

There have been no comments forthcoming on the announcement of Dhankar by either Banerjee.

Banerjee has called a meeting of party MPs to discuss party strategy for the Parliament session as well as to discuss the VP polls. Party insiders say that Banerjee will speak out after the meeting.

The numbers in the electoral college are firmly stacked in favour of the ruling NDA combine and its candidate Dhankar.

Unlike the presidential election when the opposition camp had announced their nominee Yashwant Sinha ahead of NDA's Droupadi Murmu, leading to several non-BJP parties including even Congress allies Shiv Sena and the JMM veering towards Murmu, this time the like-minded parties wanted to wait for the announcement of the NDA candidate.

"After Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to (Odisha chief minister) Naveen babu, it has been decided that the party will support Dhankhar," senior BJD leader Pinaki Misra said. BJD has supported Murmu too.

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