- Jagdeep Dhankhar is the second vice president from Rajasthan after Bhairon Singh Shekhawat
- Dhankhar, who had been associated with Janata Dal and Congress, joined BJP only in 2008
- BJP has described Dhankhar as "kisan putra"
Jagdeep Dhankhar was sworn in as the 14th Vice President of India on Thursday afternoon at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. He began his day by visiting Raj Ghat, the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi. "Felt blessed, inspired and motivated to be ever in service of Bharat in serene sublimity of Raj Ghat while paying respects to Pujya Bapu," Dhankhar tweeted. Dhankar's oath ceremony will take place at 12.30 pm in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance(NDA) candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar was elected as the country's 14th Vice President in a victory that was a foregone conclusion as he trounced the Opposition's candidate Margaret Alva by a huge margin.
Dhankhar, a former governor of West Bengal who will also preside over the Rajya Sabha which has been witnessing opposition protests over a range of issues, secured 528 votes against Alva's 182. His victory margin was the highest since 1997. The members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha form the electoral college for the vice presidential elections.
Soon after Dhankhar, 71, was declared as the winner with a huge vote share of over 74 per cent, the highest in the last six vice-presidential elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met him and congratulated him on his victory with resounding support across party lines, and said it was a proud moment for India to have a "kisan putra" (farmer's son) as vice president.
Dhankhar will be the second vice president from Rajasthan after Bhairon Singh Shekhawat who held the office between 2002 and 2007. With Dhankhar's election, the presiding officers of both Houses of Parliament will be from Rajasthan. Currently, Om Birla who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Rajasthan's Kota is the Lok Sabha speaker. The numbers were heavily stacked in favour of Dhankhar as the ruling BJP enjoys an absolute majority in Lok Sabha and has 91 members in Rajya Sabha.
Even before the results were announced, celebrations had started outside the residence of Minister Pralhad Joshi where Dhankhar was present.
Joyous scenes were also reported from Rajasthan's Jhunjhunu, the hometown of Dhankhar. In Jhunjhunu's Kithana village, hordes of people were present at Dhankhar's house and danced in celebrations. Sweets were also distributed.
Dhankhar, who had been associated with the Janata Dal and the Congress, joined the BJP only in 2008 after a hiatus of nearly a decade when he concentrated on his legal career. A man of many interests, Dhankhar's long legal career at the Rajasthan High Court and the Supreme Court and a brief stint as the junior parliamentary affairs minister at the Centre is expected to come in handy as he presides over the Rajya Sabha.
He has championed issues related to Other Backward Classes, including the grant of OBC status to the Jat community in Rajasthan. The BJP described Dhankhar as "kisan putra" while announcing his candidature for the vice presidential election, a move seen in the political circles aimed at reaching out to the politically significant Jat community which had participated in huge numbers in the year-long farmers' protests on the borders of the national capital against agriculture reform measures unveiled in June 2020.