Vice presidential elections: Margaret Alva in tough spot in fight against Dhankhar. 5 things to know

Published on Aug 06, 2022 10:36 AM IST
  • Margaret Alva, the Opposition candidate for vice presidential elections, is set to face a tough fight against NDA-backed Jagdeep Dhankhar who has numbers stacked in his favour, as per analysts.
Margaret Alva’s vast career in Parliament started in 1974 when she was elected to Rajya Sabha.(PTI)
Margaret Alva’s vast career in Parliament started in 1974 when she was elected to Rajya Sabha.(PTI)

Margaret Alva, a long-time Congress leader and former Rajya Sabha vice-chairperson, is all set to battle it out for the Vice Presidential seat against National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar, former governor of West Bengal. Alva, the opposition's candidate for the V-P polls, is expected to secure around 190-200 votes, going by the predictions so far – putting her in a tough spot against her opponent. To win the polls, a candidate needs over 390 seats in the electoral college of 780 votes. Considering the BJP alone has nearly 400 members in both houses – all set to vote for Dhankhar – along with its allies like YSR Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, and Shinde's Shiv Sena faction, the former Bengal governor is set for a smooth win.

(Follow live updates on V-P polls)

5 things to know about Margaret Alva:

Education: Margaret Alva was born to a Christian family in Mangalore, Karnataka. She is a graduate of Mount Carmel College and went on to get a law degree from University of Law College & Department of Studies in Law.

Political journey: A die-hard Congress activist, Alva has remained so throughout her political career. A member of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), she became convenor of the Karnataka Congress’ women’s front in 1972.

A feisty leader, she was in the spotlight in 2008 for raising her voice against the Congress’ ticket distribution in Karnataka and alleging that the tickets were open to bidders, resulting in a major fiasco within the Congress. Her statement had cost her some of her political responsibilities.

In the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, Alva was devoid of ministerial responsibilities.

As Rajya Sabha vice-chairperson: Alva was elected to the Rajya Sabha as a Congress representative in 1974. She served a six-year term and was re-elected for three more years.

A leading woman politician from the south, she is well-versed with parliamentary issues and was elected to the post of vice-chairperson of the Rajya Sabha in 1983 till 1985.

Governorship and other offices: Margaret Alva has a rich political as well as administrative experience. She has served as the Governor of Goa, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand during her administrative stint.

She has also been a member of the Lok Sabha, a Union minister of state for external affairs, parliamentary affairs, youth and sports, women and child development and science and technology.

Personal life: Alva married Niranjan Thomas Alva in 1964. The couple had met while they were both students at Government Law College. They have one daughter and three sons, the oldest being Niret Alva, who owns a television production company.

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