Friday, August 12, 2022

Dhankhar elected VP; defeats Alva by 346 votes

NDA candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar was elected as the 14th Vice President of India on Saturday as he defeated joint Opposition candidate Margaret Alva by 346 votes. Dhankhar, a former governor of West Bengal, secured 528 votes while 80-year-old Alva got 182.
Dhankhar, 71, will take oath as the vice president on August 11, a day after incumbent M Venkaiah Naidu’s tenure ends.
The numbers were 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 Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi where Dhankhar was present. Soon after the announcement of the result, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Dhankhar and congratulated him.
Wishes poured in from various quarters after the election result was announced with President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Alva congratulating Dhankhar.
The nation will benefit from Dhankhar’s long and rich experience in public life, the president tweeted.
He 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. The vice president is the chairperson of Rajya Sabha.
As many as 725 MPs cast their ballots in the poll, which is 92.94 per cent of total votes, an official said, adding 15 votes were declared invalid. Members of Parliament, including nominated ones, are entitled to vote in the vice presidential poll. While the electoral college comprises 788 members, due to eight vacancies in Rajya Sabha, the actual strength was 780.
TMC MPs cross vote: The Trinamool Congress had abstained from voting claiming it was not consulted while naming Alva as the opposition pick. However, two of its MPs– Sisir Kumar Adhikari and Dibyendu Adhikari– broke ranks and cast their ballots. The party has 36 MPs, including 23 in Lok Sabha.
The rise of Dhankhar, 71, to become the next vice president has surprised many. 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.
MPs who did not vote: A total of 55 MPs did not turn up to cast their votes, notable among them were BJP MPs Sunny Deol and Sanjay Dhotre, the Samajwadi Party’s Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shafiqur Rahman Barq. Seven MPs from the Shiv Sena, including Sanjay Raut who is in jail in connection with a money laundering case, did not vote. Two MPs from the BSP and one from the AAP also did not vote.
Battle to protect Constitution to continue, says Alva: The Opposition’s vice presidential candidate Margaret Alva congratulated Jagdeep Dhankhar for winning the poll and noted that while this election is over, the battle for protecting the Constitution, strengthening democracy and restoring Parliament’s dignity will continue.
She hit out at some opposition parties for supporting the BJP in this election “directly or indirectly” and said it was an attempt to “derail” the idea of a united opposition.
Alva said she believes that by supporting the BJP in this election, such parties and leaders have damaged their own credibility.

TMC party seeks explanation from MP: Despite being informed by TMC MP Sudip Bandhopadhyay that the party will abstain from taking part in the voting process in the Vice President election, party MPs Sisir Adhikari and Dibyendu Adhikari on Saturday took part in the election process in the national capital.
Though the father and son didn’t say anything, TMC state general secretary and spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said that both of them are ‘not’ with TMC.
Trinamool Congress MP and Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha Sudip Bandyopadhyay has written to fellow parliamentarian Sisir Adhikari asking him to explain why he participated in the vice presidential election when the party had decided to abstain from the process.
The Mamta Banerjee-led party had decided not to be a part of the vice presidential poll, alleging the joint Opposition candidate was chosen without due consultation.
Sisir Adhikari’s relationship with the Trinamool Congress has become a tenuous one with Bandyopadhyay demanding his dismissal citing his “defection” to BJP.
Bandyopadhyay had alleged that Adhikari crossed over to BJP in March last year in the run-up to the 2021 West Bengal assembly polls. Adhikari had been elected thrice as an MP from the Contai seat since 2009 on a TMC ticket.

Most Read