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    Jagdeep Dhankhar Vs Margaret Alva: Two lawyers to contest the Vice-Presidential elections

    Jagdeep Dhankhar Vs Margaret Alva: Two lawyers to contest the Vice-Presidential elections

    Jagdeep Dhankhar Vs Margaret Alva: Two lawyers to contest the Vice-Presidential elections
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Updated)

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    Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said 17 parties attended the all-party meeting by the opposition in New Delhi and unanimously decided on the candidature of former Union minister and veteran Congress leader Margaret Alva

    Even as the numbers are clearly stacked in favour of the NDA’s vice-presidential candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar, the Opposition announced on Sunday Congress leader Margaret Alva as its candidate for the elections in August, showing that they are ready for a fight despite the odds to win.
    Announcing the decision at a press conference, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar said 17 parties attended the all-party meeting by the opposition in New Delhi and unanimously decided on the candidature of the former Union minister and veteran Congress leader Margaret Alva.
    On Saturday, BJP chief JP Nadda announced that West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar would be the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) candidate for the vice-president elections scheduled on August 6, 2022.
    Who is Jagdeep Dhankhar?
    Born on May 18, 1951, in Kithana village of Jhunjhunu district in Rajasthan, Dhankhar has been a loyal soldier of the BJP and its current leadership. He completed his schooling from Sainik School, Chittorgarh, and did his graduation in Physics from the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur. He also did his LLB from the same university. After becoming a lawyer, Dhankhar practiced at the Rajasthan High Court and Supreme Court. He also served as the president of the Rajasthan High Court Bar Association.
    He got elected to the Lok Sabha from Rajasthan's Jhunjhunu in 1989 on a Janata Dal ticket. He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2003 and became the national convener for the party’s law and legal affairs department in 2016. He was appointed as the Governor of West Bengal in July 2019.
    In the past, Dhankhar has “extended solid support both politically and through legal advice and assistance” to the RSS and BJP. As the Bengal Governor, Dhankhar’s tenure was marked by constant confrontation with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her party Trinamool Congress, which pleased the RSS cadre. He was accused on many occasions of playing a partisan role in state politics, in tandem with the BJP.
     
    Dhankhar’s nomination is seen as an attempt by the BJP to placate communities other than the Dalits, backward communities and tribals, who believe they are being ignored in the power-sharing formula, Indian Express reported quoting sources.
    Since coming to power in the Lok Sabha in 2014, the BJP has launched an intense campaign to woo Dalits, backward communities and tribals, nominating Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit leader, for the post of President in 2017 and a tribal leader Draupadi Murmu for the July 18 presidential election. Dhankhar, who represents the socially and politically dominant Jat community of Rajasthan, will put an end to the disquiet among leaders of the upper castes.
    Who is Margaret Alva?
    Margaret Alva was born in a Roman Catholic family in Mangalore in April 1942. After completing her BA from Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru, Alva studied law at the Government Law College, Bengaluru. Like her rival Dhankhar, Alva also practiced law before joining politics.
    Alva was elected to the Rajya Sabha on Congress ticket in 1974 at the age of 32. She was re-elected in 1980, 1986 and 1992. She has been the MoS for Parliamentary Affairs, Youth and Sports and Women and Child Development and also the joint secretary of All India Congress Committee and general secretary of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee.
    She was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1999 from Uttara Kannada. However, she lost the elections in 2004.
    Alva comes from a strong political lineage. Her late husband Niranjan Thomas Alva’s parents were the first couple to be in the Parliament.
    “My parents-in-law, the late Joachim and Violet Alva, were freedom fighters who went to jail and became the first couple in the Parliament,” the Indian Express quoted Alva as saying.
    In 2008, Alva kicked up a political storm when she accused the Karnataka unit of the Congress of ‘selling tickets’ to the highest bidder. Her allegations came after the Congress denied her son, Nivedith, a seat to contest the Assembly elections.
    The outburst cost her politically as she was stripped of her organisational responsibilities. However, she made a comeback as the Governor of Uttarakhand, Goa, and Gujarat before she retired as Governor of Rajasthan in 2014.
     
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