BJP's strength in Parliament makes Dhankhar's win a foregone conclusion
New Delhi: The BJP on Saturday named "kisan putra" (son of the soil/farmer’s son) Jagdeep Dhankhar, 71, currently West Bengal governor, as the ruling NDA alliance candidate for the post of next vice president of the country.
A prominent member of the Jat community, which has been firmly supporting the BJP since 2014, even after the year-long farmers protests against the now repealed farm laws, Mr Dhankhar was often in the news for taking on West Bengal chief minister and Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee over various issues. This newspaper was the first to report that Mr Dhankhar has emerged as the "frontrunner" for the constitutional post in the NDA camp.
The vice president is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. The NDA has enough numbers to get its VP nominee elected, for which the electoral college consists of members from both houses of Parliament. Election will take place on August 6. Incumbent M. Venkaiah Naidu’s term is ending on August 10.
The last day for filing the nomination for the VP polls is July 19 and the new vice president will be sworn in on August 11. Opposition leaders will be meeting on Sunday to discuss their vice presidential candidate. Mr Dhankhar had played a key role in getting OBC status for Jats in his home state, Rajasthan.
The BJP parliamentary board, which met at the party headquarters and was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among other top brass, decided on Mr Dhankhar’s name to succeed Mr Naidu.
"Kisan putra Jagdeep Dhankhar 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 the PM after the BJP officially announced Mr Dhankhar’s name.
The PM also praised the NDA VP nominee for his excellent knowledge of the Indian Constitution and said he is also well versed in legislative affairs.
"I am sure that he will be an outstanding Chair in the Rajya Sabha and guide the proceedings of the House with the aim of furthering national progress," wrote the PM.
It can also be mentioned that Mr Dhankhar had played a crucial role as a Bengal governor. His running feud with the state chief minister, Ms Banerjee had also "exposed the flaws and apparent misrule in the state," a BJP functionary said.
He had also sent a report to the Centre on the state’s law and order situation after the BJP president J.P Nadda’s convoy was attacked in the state in 2020. He was often described as "Mamata’s bete noire".
Some within the party went to the extent of saying that "Mr Dhankhar’s relentless efforts to work for the people of Bengal had shown tremendous result."
His nomination is also expected to send a strong signal to the people of Rajasthan, a Congress-ruled state.
Mr Nadda, who announced Mr Dhankhar’s name, described him as a kisan putra who established himself as a "people's governor". Mr Nadda said that Mr Dhankhar's life reflects the spirit of the new India that is overcoming innumerable social and economic hurdles and achieving one's goals.
BJP leaders noted that Mr Dhankhar has been in public life for more than three decades.
Mr Dhankhar completed his education from Sainik School, Chittorgarh and is a Physics graduate from the University of Rajasthan from where he also pursued his LLB. He practiced law at the Rajasthan High Court and the Supreme Court. He is a former president of the Rajasthan High Court Bar Association and was elected as a Lok Sabha MP from Jhunjhunu in 1989 and has also served as MoS, parliamentary affairs. He was appointed West Bengal governor in 2019.