Vandana Chavan, a leader of Sharad Pawar’s NCP, is the opposition’s candidate for the number two post in the Rajya Sabha after the chairman, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.
Vandana Chavan has been a Rajya Sabha member of the NCP or Nationalist Congress Party since 2012.
“As a woman, I will be very happy if vice chairman becomes a woman, no matter to which party she belongs to,” she said as reports emerged of the opposition choosing her as its consensus candidate.
The 57-year-old, a three-time councillor between 1992 and 2007, was mayor of Pune in 1997-1998.
Ms Chavan’s sister Vinita Kamte was married to Ashok Kamte, one of the officers who died fighting 26/11 terrorists.
Ms Chavan’s father Vijayarao Mohite was a veteran lawyer and mentor to many leading criminal lawyers. Her mother Jayashree Mohite retired as a part-time lecturer. Her husband Hemant Chavan is also a lawyer.
In 2014, Ms Chavan was in the middle of a controversy when she was accused of animal cruelty by a neighbour who owned cats. The politician in turn accused her neighbour, a Pune-based professor, of “wilful slander” and demanded a compensation of Rs 5 crore.
Ms Chavan is credited with heading initiatives in Pune targeting citizen participation, empowerment of women and sustainable development.