Margaret Alva, 80, is the opposition’s vice-presidential nominee. Alva has served as the former governor of Rajasthan and was previously associated with the Indian National Congress (INC). The announcement of Margaret Alva as the vice-presidential nominee was made by NCP chief Sharad Pawar. 

Following the announcement, Margaret Alwa 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. 

Who is Margaret Alva? 

Margaret Alva was born into a Roman Catholic family on April 14, 1942. After studying law at the Government Law College, Mumbai, Alva became associated with a number of welfare organisations. She founded Karuna, a non-governmental organisation devoted to the welfare of women and children.

Alva married her law school classmate Niranjan Thomas Alva on May 24, 1964. Margaret Alva has three sons and a daughter. Niret Alva, the Bollywood producer, is Margaret Alva’s son. 

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Alva’s initiation into politics happened on account of her husband and father-in-law’s involvement with the Congress. Her father-in-law Joachim Alva and wife Violet Alva were both Congress MPs. 

In Parliament

Margaret Alva was elected to the Rajya Sabha for the first time in 1974. She subsequently served the Upper House for three consecutive six year terms. From 1984 to 1985, the year former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was killed and the year after, Margaret Alva served as a Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs. 

Alva also oversaw Rajiv Gandhi’s 28-point plan on women’s rights and the rights of children. It was Alva’s 1989 proposal for 33% reservation for women in panchayats that became law in 1993. 

In 1999, Margaret Alva was elected to the Lok Sabha. She served in the Lok Sabha for five years representing the Uttara Kannada constitutency, but lost the subsequent election. 


Margaret Alva became the first female Governor of Uttarakhand in 2009. In May 2012, she became the governor of Rajasthan.