Jagdeep Dhankhar, a candidate for the NDA and a former governor of West Bengal, easily won the vice-presidential election on Saturday with 528 votes. He beat Margaret Alva, a congressional candidate supported by the opposition who received less than 200 votes.
Dhankhar received 74.36 percent of the total valid votes. In the previous six vice presidential elections held since 1997, he had the largest margin of victory.
“NDA candidate Jagdeep Dhankar won by 346 votes as he bagged 528 of the total 725 votes that were cast. While 15 were termed invalid, Opposition candidate Margret Alva received 182 votes in the election,” Lok Sabha General-Secretary Utpal K Singh, who was the returning officer for the poll, told reporters.
Dhankhar, 71, succeeds incumbent M Venkaiah Naidu, whose term expires on August 10. He will also serve as the Rajya Sabha chairman. His oath ceremony will take place on August 11. Dhankhar will serve as the nation’s fourteenth vice president.
On May 18, 1951, Dhankar was born in an agricultural family in a small hamlet in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district. He finished his elementary schooling at the Sainik School in Chittorgarh before enrolling in the University of Rajasthan’s law programme.
Dhankar was an accomplished attorney before entering politics, having worked in both the Rajasthan High Court and the Supreme Court.
Midway through the 1980s, Dhankhar entered politics. On the Janata Dal ticket, he was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1989 from Jhunhuna. In Chandra Shekhar’s minority administration of 1990, he was the Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs.
He then changed parties to the Congress and represented Kishangarh in Rajasthan as an MLA from 1993 and 1998.
Analysts attribute Dhankar’s decision to change parties to the ascent of Ashok Gehlot inside the Congress party, and his next political destination was the BJP.