NEW DELHI: NDA candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar Saturday was elected 14 Vice president of India, defeating the joint opposition candidate Margherita Alva after getting 528 votes (72.8%) against his rival’s count of 182.
Although the outcome of the contest for vice presidency was a foregone conclusion, Dhankhar’s victory was rich in symbolism as it signaled the continued dominance of the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with all key constitutional posts – President, VP (who is even ex officio Rajya Sabha president) and Lok Sabha Speaker – held by the party. He also dealt a severe blow to the anti-BJP camp, which had launched the VP polls as a battle of ideologies between “the holders of the Constitution and those who undermine it”.

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The anti-BJP whose claim to a large opposition unit disintegrated in the race to compete when Mamata Banerjee’s TMC broke ranks and decided to abstain from voting in the elections for the vice-presidency.
Jagdeep Dhankar, 71, took the polls with 72.8% of the 725 valid votes cast in VP polls, making him the first BJP candidate for the post not to start his political journey in Sangh Parivar and to go to the drifted into the saffron field after a period at Lok Dal and then at Congress.
The poll and ballot count took place in Lok Sabha. Of the 780 possible votes of the constituency, 725 MPs, equal to 92.9% of the votes, exercised their right. Lok Sabha’s returning officer, Utpal Kumar Singh, said 15 votes were invalidated.
After getting nearly 73% of the votes, Dhankar improved Naidu’s performance by 2% in 2017. His margin of victory of 346 votes was the highest in the last six VP polls since 1997. However, the record of the higher margin still remains with KR Narayanan, who won 700 of the 701 votes cast in 1992 against independent candidate Kaka Joginder Singh, aka ‘Dharti Pakad’.

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Dhankar’s victory came thanks to the support of NDA parties, which represent 441 MPs, five nominated members and non-NDA parties, including BJD, Congress YSR, BSP, TDP, Akali Dal and Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde faction, which together they represented a total of 81 MPs.
Alva had to settle for a significantly lower tally of 182, or a paltry 25.1% of valid votes cast. The opposition camp, incidentally, was expecting over 200 votes for Alva with the support of 20 parties, including Congress, DMK, TRS, AAP, NCP, CPM, CPI, IUML, NC, SP, JMM, Kerala Congress, AIMIM, AIUDF, RSP, VCK, MDMK, RJD and RLD.
While opposition leaders had no illusions about the results of this lopsided contest, Alva’s candidacy was a serious stance to get their message across that they would not stop resisting the NDA’s alleged muscle strength and intimidation policy. Their hopes were bolstered by the return of the Sena faction led by Uddhav Thackeray and the return of JMM, leading to reinforce the expectation that VP polls would signal a deeper solidarity that would help convert some fencing designs ahead of the polls. of 2024.
Factionism within Sena has also dented opposition numbers, with 15 of its 22 MPs aligned with Eknath Shinde’s camp likely to have sided with Dhankhar. Among those who did not cast their vote were Sunny Deol and Sanjay Dhotre of the BJP and congressmen Randeep Surjewala and Dhiraj Sahu.

Modi, Shah hail the election of ‘kisan putra’ Dhankhar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the election of Jagdeep Dhankhar as Vice President as a proud moment for India to have a “kisan putra” in high constitutional office at a time when the country is poised to celebrate 75 years. of independence. President Drupadi Murmu, Interior Minister Amit Shah and leaders from across the political spectrum congratulated Dhankhar on his victory.

Modi, who was the first to vote on Saturday, called Dhankhar right after the results were announced. “Congratulations to Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar ji for being elected Vice President of India with resounding support across party lines. I am confident he will be an outstanding Vice President. Our nation will gain enormously from his intellect and wisdom,” he said. “At a time when India scores Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, we are proud to have a vice president of kisan putra who has excellent legal knowledge and intellectual prowess.”

“Congratulations to Jagdeep Dhankhar on being elected vice president. The nation will benefit from your long and rich public life experience. My best wishes for a productive and successful term,” said President Droupadi Murmu. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu also spoke to Dhankhar on the phone and congratulated him.

Shah said: “Congratulations to Kisan Putra Jagdeep Dhankhar ji on being elected vice president, which is a cause for joy for the country. He has been continuously associated with the common man in his long public life. The Upper House will benefit from his understanding. and close experience of ground level problems. ” He said he is confident that as vice president and president of Rajya Sabha, Dhankhar will prove to be the true guardian of the Constitution.

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, party MP Rahul Gandhi and some opposition leaders congratulated Dhankhar. “Congratulations to Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar ji for being elected 14th Vice President of India … Thanks to Smt @alva_margaret ji for representing the spirit of the joint opposition with grace and dignity,” Rahul tweeted.



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