New Delhi: Former West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was on Saturday elected India’s new Vice-President. He got 528 votes against opposition candidate Margaret Alva who got 182 votes.
Dhankar reached Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi’s residence at 11 Akbar Road before the announcement of the results for the Vice-Presidential Election.
Lok Sabha Secretary General Utpal Kumar Singh, who was the presiding officer for the 16th Vice Presidential election, said that of the 780 MPs eligible to cast votes, 725 MPs cast their vote. Fifteen votes were found invalid and 710 votes were valid.
The polling to elect the new vice president began at 10 am today and concluded at 5 pm. The counting of votes began after 6 pm.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was amongst the first leaders to cast his vote. Union Ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh and BJP president JP Nadda also cast their votes. Dr Manmohan Singh arrived in a wheelchair to cast his vote. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also cast his vote besides other MPs.
The next Vice-President of the country will take the oath of office on August 11, a day after the term of the incumbent Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu ends.
Janata Dal (United), YSRCP, BSP, AIADMK had announced support for Dhankhar. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) extended support to Alva. The Trinamool Congress abstained from the vote.
Dhankhar was appointed as the Governor of West Bengal in 2019. He resigned from the post of West Bengal Governor on July 17 after his name was announced as the vice Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
The Vice President of India, which is the second-highest constitutional post in the country, is elected through an electoral college consisting of members of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha.
The Vice President of India is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
Three decades in public life
Former West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who was elected as India's 14th Vice President on Saturday, has varied administrative experience and has been in public life for over three decades.
Born on May 18, 1951, in an agrarian household in a village in Rajasthan's Jhunjhunu district, Dhankhar completed his school education from Sainik School, Chittorgarh. After finishing his graduation in physics, he pursued LLB from the University of Rajasthan. Despite being a first-generation professional, he became one of the leading lawyers in the state.
Dhankhar, 71, has practised in both the Rajasthan High Court and the Supreme Court of India. He entered public life after getting elected as a Member of Parliament from Jhunjhunu in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections on a Janata Dal ticket. He also served as a Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs in 1990. His politics was initially influenced by former deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal.
Dhankhar, who belongs to the Jat community, later shifted focus to state politics and was elected to the Rajasthan Assembly in 1993 from Kishangarh constituency in Ajmer district.
Appointed West Bengal Governor in 2019, he had differences with the Trinamool Congress government on several issues. He resigned as West Bengal Governor on July 17 before filing his nomination as the Vice-Presidential candidate of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi referred the humility of the NDA vice-presidential nominee and said he has always worked for the well-being of farmers.
"Kisan Putra Jagdeep Dhankhar Ji is known for his humility. He brings with him an illustrious legal, legislative and gubernatorial career. He has always worked for the well-being of farmers, youth, women and the marginalised. Glad that he will be our VP candidate," said PM Modi in a Twitter post.
"Jagdeep Dhankhar Ji has excellent knowledge of our Constitution. He is also well-versed with legislative affairs. I am sure that he will be an outstanding Chair in the Rajya Sabha and guide the proceedings of the House with the aim of furthering national progress," Prime Minister added.
With Dhankhar's election as Vice-President, the presiding officers of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will be from Rajasthan.