Margaret Alva
Margaret Alva in 2006
17th Governor of Goa
In office
12 July 2014 – 7 August 2014
Chief MinisterManohar Parrikar
Preceded byBharat Vir Wanchoo
Succeeded byOm Prakash Kohli
23rd Governor of Gujarat
In office
7 July 2014 – 15 July 2014
Chief MinisterAnandiben Patel
Preceded byKamla Beniwal
Succeeded byOm Prakash Kohli
19th Governor of Rajasthan
In office
12 May 2012 – 5 August 2014
Chief MinisterAshok Gehlot
Preceded byShivraj Patil
Succeeded byRam Naik (Additional Charge)
4th Governor of Uttarakhand
In office
6 August 2009 – 14 May 2012
Chief Minister
Preceded byBanwari Lal Joshi
Succeeded byAziz Qureshi
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
Preceded byAnant Kumar Hegde
Succeeded byAnant Kumar Hegde
Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
In office
26 June 1991 – 26 May 1996
Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports
In office
26 May 1985 – 26 May 1989
Prime MinisterRajiv Gandhi
Minister of State, Parliamentary Affairs
In office
25 July 1984 – 25 July 1985
Prime MinisterIndira Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi
In office
25 July 1993 – 25 July 1996
Prime MinisterP. V. Narasimha Rao
Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
In office
25 July 1974–25 July 1998
Personal details
Margaret Nazareth

(1942-04-14) 14 April 1942 (age 81)
Mangalore, Madras Presidency, British India
(present-day Mangaluru, Karnataka, India)
Political partyIndian National Congress
Niranjan Alva
(m. 1964; died 2018)
RelationsViolet Alva (Mother-in-Law) Joachim Alva (Father-in-law)
Children3 son(s) and 1 daughter
ResidenceNew Delhi
Alma materMount Carmel College (B.A.), University Law College, Bangalore (LL.B.)

Margaret Nazareth Alva (born 14 April 1942) is an Indian politician. She served as the 17th Governor of Goa, 23rd Governor of Gujarat, 19th Governor of Rajasthan and 4th Governor of Uttarakhand at various times between 2009 and 2014. She has formerly served as the Cabinet Minister. She took over in Rajasthan from the Punjab governor, Shivraj Patil, who had been holding an additional charge of that state. Before being appointed governor, she was a senior figure in the Indian National Congress and was Joint Secretary of the All India Congress Committee. Her mother-in-law, Violet Alva, was Second Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha in 1960s.

On 17 July 2022, the United Progressive Alliance along with some other non-UPA opposition parties nominated her for the post of Vice President of India in the 2022 election.[2] But she was defeated by her opponent Jagdeep Dhankhar by a margin of 346 votes on 6 August 2022.

Early life

Margaret Nazareth Alva was born Margaret de Nazareth on 14 April 1942,[3] to a Mangalorean Christian family at Mangalore, in Carnataca. She obtained a BA degree from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore and a law degree from Government Law College in the same city.[4] She was a keen and appreciated debater during her time at college and had some involvement in students' movements.[5]

Alva combined her work as an advocate with involvement in welfare organisations, eventually becoming president of the Young Women's Christian Association. One of her early involvements was with the Karuna non-governmental organisation, which she founded and which was focused on issues relating to women and children.[4][6]

On 24 May 1964 she married Niranjan Thomas Alva, whom she had met while they were both students at Government Law College.[5] The couple had one daughter and three sons, the oldest being Niret Alva.[7] Niranjan Alva ran a successful export business, which gave his wife a financial security that proved beneficial in her later career.[4]



Alva's decision to enter politics in 1969 was influenced by her husband's parents, Joachim Alva and Violet Alva, both of whom had served Members of Parliament representing the Indian National Congress. She has acknowledged this encouragement, saying that "I never had to face any family constraints on my political activities" and she has also said that the death of Violet in 1969 provided the impetus. She aligned herself with the Congress (Indira) faction led by Indira Gandhi and worked for its state unit in Karnataka.[4][5] She served as Joint Secretary of the All India Congress Committee between 1975 and 1977 and as General Secretary of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee between 1978 and 1980.[3]

Rajya Sabha

In April 1974, Alva was elected to the Rajya Sabha as a representative of Congress. She served a six-year term and was then re-elected for three more six-year terms, in 1980, 1986, and 1992. During her time in the Rajya Sabha, she was its vice-chairman (1983–85) and also served terms as Union Minister of State in the ministries for Parliamentary Affairs (1984–85) and for Youth and Sports and Women and Child Development, an arm of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. She also served on various House committees, which garnered her a considerable degree of procedural expertise,[4] and was briefly Minister for Science and Technology.[6]

In her HRD role, between 1985 and 1989,[8] Alva oversaw the Rajiv Gandhi-led government's 28-point plan intended to improve the rights and involvement of women and children. In addition, she made proposals for various development corporations for women, only some of which materialised, and also campaigned for a greater prominence of women in government and in her party's official posts. Her 1989 proposal that 33 per cent of seats in panchayat raj (local government) elections should be reserved for women became law in 1993 and, according to Laura Jenkins, "marked a further shift from the former abhorrence of reservations as a nationally divisive policy". She continued her efforts to improve the lot of women during her period as Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions and Parliamentary Affairs (1991 and 1993-96[8]), where she tried to increase the number of female officeholders in various ministries and government organisations, such as the Union Public Service Commission and the judiciary.[4][9]

Alva has also been involved with women's issues and related matters such as population growth on the international stage, notably through various United Nations bodies and in writings.[4][10]

Lok Sabha

Alva was elected to the 13th Lok Sabha as a Member of Parliament in 1999 for the Uttara Kannada constituency, serving a five-year term.[8] She lost a subsequent re-election attempt in the 2004.[11] Between 2004 and 2009, she served as General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee and was an advisor to the Bureau of Parliamentary Studies & Training, a government body that works with newly elected parliamentary representatives at both national and state level.[6]


In November 2008, Alva said that Congress seats for the elections in Karnataka were open to bidders rather than subject to meritocratic appointment. Congress denied her claims and a meeting with the party president, Sonia Gandhi resulted in Alva resigning or being removed from her numerous official responsibilities in the party.[12] Subsequently, Alva patched up her differences with Congress leadership. She has declined to go into details of the 2008 controversy even as her resignation letter continues to be a subject of media speculation.[13]

On 6 August 2009, Alva became the first female Governor of Uttarakhand. Although she said then that she was enthusiastic about the challenges facing the nascent state, she found herself sidelined outside national politics and frustrated by the Bharatiya Janata Party state government. She remained in the post until May 2012, at which time she was appointed Governor of Rajasthan, which was a more important region in political terms. Of her time in Uttarakhand, Alva said that "The quietude allowed me to recharge my batteries and even spare some time for working on my biography". The autobiography is not expected to appear until after her retirement.[14][15][16]

The move to Rajasthan relieved Shivraj Patil, the Governor of Punjab, of his temporary adjunct responsibility for that state which had arisen due to the death of the incumbent governor, Prabha Rau, in April 2010;[17] on 7 August 2014 she was dismissed by the President of India on the advice of the Narendra Modi ministry.

Electoral performance

This section is transcluded from 2022 Indian vice presidential election. (edit | history)

Results of the Indian vice-presidential election, 2022
Party (Coalition) Electoral Votes
% of Votes
Jagdeep Dhankhar BJP (NDA) 528 74.37
Margaret Alva INC (UO) 182 25.63
Total 710 100
Valid Votes 710
Invalid Votes 15
Turnout 725 92.95%
Abstentions 55 7.05%
Electors 780


  1. ^ "Niranjan Thomas Alva passes away". Business Standard India. Press Trust of India. 7 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Ex-union minister Margaret Alva is Opposition's vice presidential candidate". The Indian Express. 17 July 2022. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Rajya Sabha Members Biographical Sketches 1952 – 2003" (PDF). Rajya Sabha website.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Commonwealth Secretariat (1999). Women in Politics: Voices from the Commonwealth. Commonwealth Secretariat. pp. 75–77. ISBN 9780850925692.
  5. ^ a b c Vittal, Gita (2007). Reflections: Experiences of a Bureaucrat's Wife. Academic Foundation. pp. 68–69. ISBN 9788171884711.
  6. ^ a b c "Hon'ble Governor of Rajasthan: Smt. Margaret Alva". Government of Rajasthan. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  7. ^ "Miditech moves on". Business Standard. 29 September 2004.
  8. ^ a b c "Governor of Rajasthan". Legislative Assembly of Rajasthan. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  9. ^ Jenkins, Laura Dudley (1999). "Competing Inequalities: The Struggle Over Reserved Legislative Seats for Women in India". In Boris, Eileen; Janssens, Angelique (eds.). Complicating Categories: Gender, Class, Race and Ethnicity. Cambridge University Press. p. 66. ISBN 9780521786416.
  10. ^ Alva, Margaret (2012). "India". In Graham, Kennedy (ed.). The Planetary Interest. Routledge. pp. 12, 208. ISBN 9781135358204.
  11. ^ "Margaret Alva to be Uttarakhand governor". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  12. ^ "Cong cuts Alva down to size". The Statesman. 13 November 2008. Retrieved 20 January 2010.
  13. ^ "My book will reveal why I quit the AICC: Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva". India Today. Living Media India Limited. 18 July 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  14. ^ "Alva sworn in Uttarakhand Governor". The Hindu. 7 August 2009. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  15. ^ "Wanchoo for Goa, Alva for Rajasthan". The Telegraph. 29 April 2009. Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  16. ^ Sharma, Neena (10 May 2012). "Eventful stint that lent charm to Governor's post". The Tribune. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  17. ^ "Margaret Alva sworn in as Rajasthan Governor". Business Standard. Press Trust of India. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2014.