Opposition nominates Margaret Alva as vice-presidential candidate

Former Union minister and Congress leader Margaret Alva has been announced as the opposition candidate for India’s vice president.

“The opposition candidate for Vice President of India will be Margaret Alva,” NCP leader Sharad Pawar said after an all-party meeting of opposition parties in New Delhi.

Pawar said, “17 parties agree to this unanimous decision. Our collective thought is that Alva will file the nomination for vice president on Tuesday.”

Earlier, the BJP nominated West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, a Jat leader from Rajasthan with a socialist background, as the vice-presidential candidate of the ruling National Democratic Alliance.

“We are trying to contact Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal. Last time they supported our joint presidential candidate,” he said, adding that even JMM stood with opposition parties in this election. Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut said: “We are all together in this election.”

Participants included Mallikarjun Kharge and Jairam Ramesh from Congress, CPI(M) Leader Sitaram Yechury, Dr Raja and Binoy Viswam from CPI, Sanjay Raut from Shiv Sena, TR Baalu ​​and Tiruchi Siva from DMK, Ram Gopal Yadav from SP, MDMK’s Vaiko and TRS’ K Keshava Rao.

AD Singh of RJD, ET Mohammed Basheer of IMUL and Jose K. Mani of Kerala Congress (M) were also present. The Electoral College numbers are stacked firmly in favor of the ruling NDA cartel.

The election of Dhankhar as vice president, who is also ex officio president of Rajya Sabha, is almost a certainty as the BJP has a majority in the electoral college made up of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members.

Making the announcement, BJP Chairman JP Nadda hailed Dhankhar as a “kisan-putra” (farmer’s son) who he said has established himself as a “ruler of the people”.

Out of the current Parliament membership of 780, the BJP alone has 394 MPs, more than the majority of 390. The BJP parliamentary council in a meeting, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior leaders, chose Dhankhar, 71. after deliberating on several names from different backgrounds, Nadda said.

After the announcement, Modi tweeted: “Jagdeep Dhankhar Ji has excellent knowledge of our Constitution. He is also well versed in legislative affairs. I am sure he will be an outstanding Speaker of the Rajya Sabha and guide the work of the House with the purpose of promoting national progress.

Shortly after his name was announced, Dhankhar tweeted, “Thank you Narendra Modi ji for nominating me as running mate for the vice presidential election.” Since taking office as Governor of West Bengal in July 2019, Dhankhar has had several run-ins with the Mamata Banerjee government.

Although his proactive conduct drew criticism from the ruling Trinamool Congress, the BJP backed him, noting that he had stuck to constitutional provisions to ask questions of the Banerjee government. The TMC had also demanded his removal as governor.

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

The deadline for submitting nominations for the election of Vice-President is July 19.

First post: STI


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