NEW DELHI: The BJP parliamentary board on Saturday picked West Bengal governor
as its candidate for the Vice-President post.
Announcing the decision, BJP chief J.P. Nadda said Dhankhar is a “kisan putra (son of farmer)” who established himself as the “people’s governor”. Dhankar had met PM Modi earlier in the day.
The term of incumbent M Venkaiah Naidu ends on August 10. The last date for filing of nomination papers for the poll is July 19 and the election is scheduled for August 6.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, and Nitin Gadkari besides party president JP Nadda attended the meeting of the BJP’s apex organisational body on Saturday.
Glad that Dhankhar will be our V-P candidate: PM Modi
Kisan Putra Jagdeep Dhankhar Ji is known for his humility. He brings with him an illustrious legal, legislative and… https://t.co/FcxdFh8sIm
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1657983003000
“Kisan Putra Jagdeep Dhankar is known for his humility. He brings with him an illustrious legal, legislative and gubernatorial career. He has always worked for the well-being of farmers, youth, women and the marginalised. Glad that he will be our VP candidate,” tweeted PM Modi, adding: “He has excellent knowledge of our Constitution. He is also well-versed with legislative affairs. I am sure that he will be an outstanding Chair in the
and guide the proceedings of the House with the aim of furthering national progress.”
BJP leaders noted that Dhankhar has been in public life for more than three decades, and his life story reflects the spirit of new India, “overcoming innumerable social and economic hurdles and achieving one’s goals”.
Union home minister Amit Shah also heaped praises on Dhankhar. “The manner in which Dhankar ji, the farmer son of Virbhoomi Rajasthan, has reached here today after facing many economic and social challenges, it is inspiring for all … In a public life spanning over 3 decades, Dhankar ji has contributed significantly to the development of the country. As MLA, MP or Governor of Bengal, he was constantly associated with the people in his every responsibility. Even as an advocate, he always put the protection of the interests of the society first,” tweeted Shah.
3 दशक से लंबे सार्वजनिक जीवन में @jdhankhar1 जी ने देश के विकास में महत्वपूर्ण योगदान दिया है।विधायक, सांसद या फि… https://t.co/ACzeh9Ck8G
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) 1657984728000
Since assuming charge as Bengal governor in July 2019, Dhankhar has often been at odds with the Mamata Banerjee-led state government and her party the Trinamool Congress. He has accused the state government of “extreme appeasement and communalised patronage”, while the TMC has labelled him an “agent of BJP”.
In 2017, the party had named the then Cabinet minister Naidu, a former BJP president and veteran parliamentarian, as its vice president candidate, after surprising everyone by picking the then Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit, for the presidential contest.
Both Kovind and Naidu had won the polls comfortably to occupy the two highest constitutional posts of the country.
The BJP is again in a strong position to ensure the win of its candidates. BJP MPs will hold another meeting ahead of the presidential election on July 18, in which NDA’s pick Draupadi
has a clear advantage over the Opposition’s joint candidate Yashwant Sinha.
Opposition to declare VP candidate after BJP
The opposition parties have decided to field a joint candidate to contest against the government’s nominee for the Vice-President’s post.
However, unlike the Presidential elections where the opposition parties came together and declared Sinha as their joint candidate even before the NDA had announced Murmu’s name, this time the opposition camp said it will finalise its vice-presidential candidate only after the ruling alliance announces its nominee.
The opposition wants to ensure its candidate matches the stature and profile of the NDA nominee, so that the contest does not become one-sided as it seems to be happening with the Presidential race. Murmu’s credentials as a tribal and a woman have made parties from the rival camp switch sides.
Congress, TMC, Left parties, DMK, RJD, SP, AAP among others have banded together for the presidential and vice-presidential polls. Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao is also learnt to have been calling up other opposition leaders for the exercise and also for floor coordination in Parliament during the monsoon session to take on the NDA government. Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik’s BJD is said to be supporting Murmu’s candidacy.
Procedure for electing V-P
The electoral college for picking the next vice president, who is also the Rajya Sabha chairperson, comprises both elected and nominated members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. In presidential elections, nominated members are not a part of the electoral college.
For Vice President’s elections, states have no role to play unlike in President’s elections where state legislative assemblies’ elected members are a part of the electoral college.
Since all the electors are members of Parliament, the value of the vote of each MP in the V-P elections is the same i.e. 1 (one).
Out of Parliament’s current strength of 780, the BJP alone has 394 MPs, more than the majority mark of 390.
Many vice presidents have gone on to become President. India has never had a woman Vice-President.
(With inputs from agencies)
Watch West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar is NDA’s vice-presidential candidate