The Conundrum for Congress never seems to end. The Opposition’s Vice Presidential candidate, announced last evening, also reflects the same. There has been a chequered history between Congress and its veteran leader Margaret Alva. Congress being the principal opposition party has a major say in decisions of Joint opposition. For a symbolic fight for the Vice Presidential election, Congress-led joint opposition chose Margaret Alva. This could mean that Congress has made her a sacrificial lamb because of her past statements on Congress’ corruption.
Joint Opposition Candidate
On Sunday, 17th July, the opposition held a close door deliberation on the Vice President election. After the meeting, NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar announced the unanimous decision of the opposition parties. He announced that Former Governor and veteran politician Magaret Alva will be the opposition’s joint candidate for the second highest post in the country.
Delhi | Opposition's candidate for the post of Vice President of India to be Margaret Alva: NCP chief Sharad Pawar pic.twitter.com/qkwyf7FMOw
— ANI (@ANI) July 17, 2022
Also Read: Let us announce the result of the Presidential polls even before NDA declares its candidate
The joint opposition meeting was attended by Congress’ Mallikarjun Kharge and Jairam Ramesh, left party leaders Sitaram Yechury-CPI(M), D Raja and Binoy Viswam from CPI, Sanjay Raut-Uddhav Sena and Ram Gopal Yadav from Samajwadi party among other regional leaders. It was reported that both TMC and AAP kept a strategic distance from the joint opposition meeting. However, Pawar refuted this and claimed that both the parties will support joint opposition candidate Margaret Alva.
We tried to contact West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee but she was busy in some conference. We also tried to contact Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. He announced support (for Yashwant Sinha) a few days ago & will announce his support (for Margaret Alva) soon: NCP chief Sharad Pawar pic.twitter.com/EtVUvP1tHL
— ANI (@ANI) July 17, 2022
Congress politician Margaret Alva made a tweet thanking the opposition parties for this announcement. She tweeted, “It is a privilege and an honour to be nominated as the candidate of the joint opposition for the post of Vice President of India. I accept this nomination with great humility and thank the leaders of the opposition for the faith they’ve put in me.”
It is a privilege and an honour to be nominated as the candidate of the joint opposition for the post of Vice President of India. I accept this nomination with great humility and thank the leaders of the opposition for the faith they’ve put in me.
Jai Hind 🇮🇳
— Margaret Alva (@alva_margaret) July 17, 2022
Political Career of Margaret Alva
Margaret Nazareth, a Roman catholic, just like his rival Jagdeep Dhankar, started her career in the field of Law. Margaret Alva then got involved in many welfare organisations and NGOs focused on issues relating to women and children. In 1964, she married Niranjan Thomas Alva. She took the plunge in politics with the guidance of her in-laws.
Read More: Many Birds with just one stone- BJP picks Jagdeep Dhankar as its vice-president nominee
So in a way, Congress veteran leader Margaret Alva also falls in the category of dynastic politics. Her father-in-law Joachim Alva and mother-in-law Violet Alva were both Members of Parliament on Congress tickets. Infact, both her in-laws were the first couple to be elected as MPs in the upper house in the same year.
After getting political entry through her in-laws, she supported the Indira Gandhi faction and worked in the Karnataka unit. Margaret Alva held top positions of the party including General Secretary of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee for two years, 1978-1980.
After her election to the upper house in 1974, she served four straight terms in Rajya Sabha from 1974-1998. During her RS tenure she served as Vice-chairman (1983-85). She had been a Minister in the governments of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and PV Narashima Rao. In 1999, she was elected to Lok Sabha from Uttara Kannada constituency. However, she lost her next election. After which her rifts with the party started to come out in the open.
Congress sells ticket to highest bidder
By now you must have realised that she was one of the strong pillars of Congress and had known the party and its members in and out. So her revelations against the party mattered a lot. Evidently, in 2008, she accused the Congress of selling the tickets to the highest bidder causing an embarrassment to the grand old party. This resulted in her ostracisation from the party and all her posts and roles were snatched away from her. She paid the price for exposing Congress illicit activities and party’s compromises from democratic values.
Later, she ironed out her issues with the Congress. Still congress considered her a threat and sidelined her from active national politics. Margaret Alva was made the Governor of Uttarakhand and became the first female Governor of the hill state. During this time of her social ostracisation by the party, she penned down her autobiography which later became a bone in the neck for the Congress party. She later served as the Governor of Rajasthan, Goa and Gujarat.
Autobiography exposing Congress’ legacy of corruption
In her autobiography “Courage & Commitment”, she exposed Congress’ links with Christian Michel, the accused arms dealer in the alleged Rs 3600 crores AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam. Margaret Alva, being the insider to all this information, claimed in her book that Gandhis had connections with Michel’s father Wolfgang.
Opposition Vice Presidential Candidate Margaret Alva in her autobiography 'Courage and Commitment' claimed that Congress's first family has links to Rs 3600 crore Agusta Westland middleman Christian Michel pic.twitter.com/DHPudkWfPO
— Rishi Bagree (@rishibagree) July 17, 2022
She also shed light on the tank scam in which Sanjay Gandhi’s name was also raised as an accused. It was alleged that Sanjay Gandhi and CPN Singh hatched a conspiracy to sell second hand Indian army tanks to South Africa at a time when India had no relation with the African nation. Because of her allegations, CPN Singh, a close aide of Sanjay Gandhi, was removed from the circles of power. However, Alva claims in her book that CPN Singh targeted her and could not let her expose the connections with Michel.
As always, Congress instead of coming up with factual denial of the accusations, targeted her for these grave revelations. Congress politician Randeep Surjewala accused her of using these as a marketing tool to sell her book. After this her political career came to a grinding halt. She woke out of slumber in 2022 and made some headlines for her statements on politics of Karnataka.
This must have been a warning signal for Congress as she could have come out with fresh new revelations against the Congress and that is why this candidature seems to be an act of silencing and putting a full stop at her political career. Although Margaret Alva had been a national level leader, her influence on Karnataka Congress may have weakened the divided house of congress and she has been used as a sacrificial lamb for a fight which was over before it could even begin.
Support us to strengthen the ‘Right’ ideology of cultural nationalism by purchasing the best quality garments from TFI-STORE.COM
Leave a Reply