Meet 'son of soil' Jagdeep Dhankhar, India's 14th Vice President
Former West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was elected as the 14th vice president of India on Saturday. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate won the majority of votes (528) in the polls against the Opposition nominee Magaret Alva (182). From traveling six kilometers to his school as a teenager in Rajasthan to becoming the second highest-ranking official in India, here's more about Dhankar.
- Dhankhar was leading the race from early on as the Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) NDA had the support of the required number of MPs and the backing of several smaller parties.
- After winning 528 of the 725 votes, Dhankar is scheduled to take oath on August 11.
- Dhankhar—as West Bengal's governor—was at loggerheads with CM Mamata Banerjee for most of his term.
A Jat from Rajasthan, Dhankhar was born in Kithana in 1951. He grew up in a family of farmers who helped him stay connected to his roots. This even motivated him to walk six kilometers to his school every day. He later moved to Sainik School in Chittorgarh where he enthusiastically bought dictionaries to school to improve his English, as per the Hindustan Times.
The 71-year-old went on to study Physics after finishing his school education at Jaipur's Maharaja College. He later studied LLB from the Rajasthan University between 1978-79 and registered in the BAR the same year. A "tremendous" lawyer, Dhankhar became the youngest president of the Rajasthan High Court BAR Association. He practiced in the Rajasthan High Court and moved to the Supreme Court.
Dhankhar entered politics on a Janta Dal Ticket in 1989 by winning the Jhunjunu Lok Sabha seat. In 1990, he served as the MoS for Parliamentary Affairs in the Chandra Shekhar government, and then started practicing in the Supreme Court. According to NDTV, he was closely associated with Chaudhari Devi Lal, former deputy prime minister. He joined Congress under PV Narsimha Rao's prime ministership.
In 1993, Dhankhar won the Rajasthan Assembly elections from Kishangarh (Ajmer). However, he left Congress after the rise of Ashok Gehlot and joined the BJP in 2003. As an influential Jat leader in Rajasthan, he is presumed to help BJP get an upper edge in state polls next year. He has also fought several legal cases against Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders
#WATCH | Delhi: PM Narendra Modi, BJP chief JP Nadda Vice-President elect Jagdeep Dhankhar engage in a conversation, as PM Modi leaves from the residence of Dhankhar after congratulating him on being elected the Vice President of India pic.twitter.com/1DnEhvbh7S— ANI (@ANI) August 6, 2022
Dhankhar was appointed as the Governor of West Bengal in 2019. During his stint, he got into several diplomatic spats with Chief Minister Banerjee and penned many letters expressing his disappointment in the state government. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) often accused him of being a mouthpiece of the BJP, and even requested former President Ram Nath Kovind to remove him from the post.