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Who is Margaret Alva, the Opposition's vice presidential candidate?

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

Edited By: Hritika Mitra @MitraHritika New Delhi Updated on: July 17, 2022 21:08 IST
Margaret Alva
Image Source : PTI Margaret Alva

Vice President Election 2022: The Opposition parties on Sunday announced Margaret Alva as its Vice President candidate. Alva is the former governor of Rajasthan. The 80-year-old would file her nomination papers on July 19.

The decision to field Alva was taken at a meeting that was attended by leaders of 17 opposition parties at the residence of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. The meeting stretched for two hours, after which Pawar made the announcement. Trinamool Congress and the Aam Admi Party also supported this decision. Thus, Alva will represent a total of 19 parties. 

Who is Margaret Alva?

Margaret Alva personally hails from a humble family of Mangalore where she was born a Catholic to PA Nazareth and Elizabeth who died when Alva was very young. She did not let adversity get the better of her and went on to complete her BA and later a law degree. Alva also practised as a lawyer briefly but destiny willed otherwise. She has three sons and a daughter. 

Alva's Political Career 

 Alva has a political career spanning over four decades during which she occupied several positions including a five-time Congress MP, a union minister and then governor. Her selection as the VP candidate comes ahead of the 2023 Karnataka elections and signals the Opposition's urge to field a candidate described by AICC general secretary communication Jairam Ramesh as "representative of a diverse country".

Alva had publicly alleged the "sale of Congress tickets in Karnataka" in 2008 when her son Nivedith's ticket claim was shot down by the then party in charge of the state. Alva had then openly questioned the denial of ticket to her son while wards of leaders in some other states had been accommodated. She was dropped at the time as AICC general secretary and also from the party's election committee but made a comeback later and retired as governor of Rajasthan in 2014. 

She was elected to the Rajya Sabha for the first time in 1974 at the age of 32 years and remained in the upper house for four terms until 1998. She won her first Lok Sabha election from Karnataka and served as a member of the 13th Lok Sabha. Alva was made Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs by then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1984 when she was just 42.

Some major legislative amendments

Through her three decades in Parliament as MP and later minister, Alva piloted major legislative amendments on women's rights, reservation for women in local bodies, equal remuneration, marriage laws and Dowry Prohibition Amendment Act.

Political setbacks 

Her first political setback came in 2004 when she lost the Lok Sabha election and was appointed adviser to the Bureau of Parliamentary Studies and Training, a body established to improve the levels of the legislative function of Parliament and state legislatures. Alva was also made AICC general secretary in charge of crucial states Maharashtra, Punjab and Haryana. She went on to become the first woman governor of Uttarakhand besides serving as governor of Goa, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

When VP election will take place? 

Nominations for the vice-presidential polls slated to be held on August 6 began on Tuesday. The Election Commission made an announcement of the elections for the 16th vice president of India to take place on August 6 (Saturday), 2022. 

(With inputs from PTI)

ALSO READ | Oppn parties select ex-Rajasthan Guv Margaret Alva as Vice President candidate


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