New Delhi: Former West Bengal Governor and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar took oath as the next Vice President of India’ on Thursday. President Droupadi Murmu administered the Oath of Office to the elected Vice-President of India Jagdeep Dhankhar at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Dhankhar was elected as the Vice President on August 6. He defeated the Opposition’s Margaret Alva to emerge as a winner. On August 7, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey jointly signed the ‘Certification of the Election of Jagdeep Dhankar as the next Vice President of India’.
The BJP-led NDA candidate won the election comfortably with 528 votes against Alva’s 182. The Vice President is also the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. Dhankhar secured 74.36 per cent. He has the highest winning margin in the last six vice presidential elections held since 1997.
The returning officer of the vice presidential election said of the total 780 electors, 725 cast their ballots but 15 votes were found to be invalid. The turnout was 92.94 per cent, he said, adding that a candidate needed 356 votes to get elected.
The Trinamool Congress, which has a total of 36 MPs, including 23 in Lok Sabha, had abstained from the election. However, two of its MPs had cast their ballots. As many as 55 MPs did not vote in the vice presidential election.
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 the Kishangarh constituency in Ajmer district.
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 is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. Dhankar will preside over the proceedings of the Upper House of Parliament at a time when there are apparent divisions between the treasury benches and the opposition.
With Dhankhar’s election as Vice-President, the presiding officers of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will be from Rajasthan.