Politics: Margaret Alva is joint Opposition Vice-Presidential candidate

By the time, India celebrates its 75th anniversary of Independence, the country will have a new President and a new Vice-President in office.

Though the ruling BJP-led NDA looks confident of winning both Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections, the Opposition parties have come together to put up a stiff opposition.

Draupadi Murmu, the NDA candidate for the top constitutional post of the country, is opposed by Yashwant Sinha, a bureaucrat-turned politician.

Interestingly while the NDA has put up a tribal woman leader for the Presidential election, the Opposition has put up a former Union Minister and former Governor of Rajasthan, Margaret Alva, against Jagdeep Dhankar of the NDA.

It will be a Jaat leader of Rajasthan vs a former Governor of Rajasthan and a woman belonging to a religious minority in the Vice-Presidential election.

At a meeting held at the residence of the NCP chief Sharad Pawar, almost all representatives of  Opposition parties on Sunday decided to field former Rajasthan governor Margaret Alva as their joint candidate for the Vice Presidential election.

 Margaret Alva (80), who also remained a Union Minister in both Congress and UPA governments,  would file her nomination papers on Tuesday, July 19, which is the last date for filing nominations for the August 6 election.

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.521.0_en.html#goog_1740043559The NDA has fielded West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankar as its joint candidate for the post of Vice President.

“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.

“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 Trinamool Congress and Aam Aadmi Party, she will be the joint candidate of a total of 19 parties.

https://b75c6637aa78acaaeae55459241f3720.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html“We are trying to contact Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal. They are supporting 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”.

Among those who  attended the meeting  were Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge and Jairam Ramesh, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, D Raja and Binoy Viswam of CPI , Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena, T R Baalu and Tiruchi Siva of DMK,  Ram Gopal Yadav of SP, Vaiko of MDMK,  and  K Keshava Rao of TRS.

https://b75c6637aa78acaaeae55459241f3720.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html A D Singh of RJD, I E T Mohammed Basheer of IMUL, and Jose K. Mani  of Kerala Congress(M) were also present. 

As of now, the NDA enjoys advantage with 394 votes of a total 780 votes in the Vice-Presidential electoral college. 

Unlike the presidential election when the opposition camp had announced its nominee Yashwant Sinha ahead of NDA’s Draupadi 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.

The last date for filing of nominations for the VP election is July 19.