India elects Jagdeep Dhankar as new vice president

Dhankar defeats opposition nominee Margaret Alva by 346 votes.

India elects Jagdeep Dhankar as new vice president

Jagdeep Dhankar was elected as the 14th vice president of India on Saturday, according to an official announcement.

Dhankar, former governor of the West Bengal province and candidate of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by India’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, defeated the opposition nominee Margaret Alva.

The vice president in India is elected indirectly by an electoral college consisting of elected members of both houses of the parliament, by secret ballot.

Dhankhar won by 346 votes as he bagged 528 of the total 725 votes that were cast.

Alva secured 182 votes with 15 votes found invalid, said returning officer and secretary-general of Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament), Utpal Kumar Singh while announcing the result.

With this win, the ruling alliance controls both the highest constitutional posts in the country.

Last month, Droupadi Murmu was elected as the 15th president of India. Murmu, who became the first Indian president hailing from the tribal community was also nominated by the ruling party.

The vice-presidential post in India assumes significance as he chairs the proceedings of the upper house or Rajya Sabha.

Murmu congratulated Dhankhar on being elected the vice president of India.

“The nation will benefit from your long and rich experience of public life. My best wishes for a productive and successful tenure,” she wrote on Twitter.

Analysts say that Dhankar was nominated for the second highest constitutional post as he belongs to a family of farmers and represents the Jat community.

The community had participated in large numbers in the year-long farmers’ protests around the national capital New Delhi against new agriculture reform laws.

He hails from the western state of Rajasthan, which is going to the polls next year.