New Delhi: Former West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankar was elected the Vice President on Saturday, defeating the Opposition candidate Margaret Alva.
The returning officer of the vice presidential election said of the total 780 electors, 725 cast their ballots but 15 votes were found to be invalid. The turnout was 92.94 per cent, he said, adding that a candidate needed 356 votes to get elected.
Out of the total valid votes, Dhankar got 528 votes in which he was marked the first preference, while Alva got 128.
Of all the valid votes, Dhankhar secured 74.36 per cent. He has the highest winning margin in the last six vice presidential elections held since 1997. As many as 55 MPs did not vote in the vice presidential election held from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday.
The Trinamool Congress, which has a total of 36 MPs, including 23 in Lok Sabha, had abstained from the election. However, two of its MPs had cast their ballots.
Margaret Alva congratulated Mr Dhankhar on the win. She also thanked leaders of the Opposition, and MPs from across parties who voted for her in this election. “This election is over. The battle for protecting our Constitution, strengthening our democracy & restoring the dignity of Parliament, will continue,” she said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with BJP chief JP Nadda, went to congratulate Mr Dhankhar on on his election as the Vice President. Mr Dhankhar, a Jat, was born in 1951 into a farmer’s family in a small village in Rajasthan.
Dhankhar had the support of several other non-NDA parties – Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal, Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party, Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Akali Dal and the Eknath Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Aam Aadmi Party and the nine MPs of Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray faction supported Alva.
Dhankar will succeed M Venkaiah Naidu as the 14th Vice President of India. With agency inputs