Jagdeep Dhankhar elected as new vice president of India, Defeats Margaret Alva

Jagdeep Dhankhar, National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) nominee and former West Bengal governor who was pitted against joint Opposition candidate Margaret Alva, became the 14th Vice-President of India on Saturday after winning the 16th election by an overwhelming majority.

The counting of votes for the vice-presidential election had begun at 6pm after 92.4 per cent of the members of Parliament cast their ballots.

Lok Sabha general secretariat Utpal K Singh said out of 780 votes, 725 cast their ballot and Dhankhar polled 528 votes, while Alva secured 182. There were 50 absentees and 15 votes were found invalid.

There were eight vacancies in Rajya Sabha – four from Jammu and Kashmir, three nominated and one from Tripura. There are 543 members in Lok Sabha and 237 in Rajya Sabha.

While the TMC did not participate in the election, only two lawmakers from the party. Shishir Adhikari and Debyandu Adhikari voted.

The counting started under the supervision of the Lok Sabha secretary general, who is the returning officer for the poll. As many as 725 MPs voted in the election, polling for which started at 10am and ended at 5pm.

Dhankhar, who is a lawyer by profession, joined politics in 1989. He became the governor of West Bengal in July 2019 and has made headlines since then over his tumultuous relations with the Mamata Banerjee government. He tendered his resignation as the governor of West Bengal.

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.

On Wednesday, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had announced its support for the NDA Dhankhar.

Earlier, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati announced her party’s support for Dhankhar.

Opposition parties on July 17 decided to field former Rajasthan governor Alva as their joint candidate for the vice presidential election.

The decision to field Alva was taken at a meeting of Opposition leaders of 17 parties at the residence of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar.

On Friday, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) announced to support Alva.

In 2017, the NDA nominated Venkaiah Naidu as its candidate for the vice-presidential election and his term ends on August 10, 2022.

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