National Democratic Alliance candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar was elected as the 14th vice president of India as he defeated the Opposition’s candidate Margaret Alva.
Dhankhar, who is the former West Bengal governor, secured 528 votes against Alva’s 182. His victory margin was the highest since 1997. The former Bengal governor secured 72.8 percent of the of the 725 valid votes cast.
The record is held by KR Narayanan, who leads the list for having the highest victory margin by securing 700 of the 701 votes cast in 1992. Dhankhar’s performance in this election outshined Naidu’s 2017 performance by 2 percent.
Dhankhar, 71, will take oath as the vice president on August 11, a day after incumbent M Venkaiah Naidu’s tenure ends. He will be the second vice president from Rajasthan after Bhairon Singh Shekhawat who held the office between 2002 and 2007.
The electoral college comprises 788 members, but due to eight vacancies in Rajya Sabha, the actual strength was 780. 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 Trinamool Congress had abstained from voting claiming it was not consulted while naming Alva as the opposition pick. However, two of its MPs — Sisir Kumar Adhikari and Dibyendu Adhikari — broke ranks and cast their ballots. The party has 36 MPs, including 23 in Lok Sabha.
The BJP now holds all the key positions from President, V-P to Lok Sabha Speaker. With Dhankhar’s election, the presiding officers of both Houses of Parliament will be from Rajasthan.
Sources in the BJP believe that the elevation of Dhankhar would help in increasing the party base in the Jat community and among farmers. The community has a considerable influence on nearly 40 out of 200 assembly seats in the state where assembly elections are due later next year. “This will certainly help in increasing party support in the community in Rajasthan as well as in Haryana,” a BJP leader said.
With inputs from News18