Jagdeep Dhankhar Takes Oath as 14th Vice President of India

The former West Bengal Governor began the day by paying respects to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat.

3 min read

Jagdeep Dhankhar was sworn in as the 14th vice president of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday, 11 August.

The oath of office was administered to the former West Bengal governor by President Droupadi Murmu.

Dhankhar began the day by paying respects to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat. Taking to Twitter, he said, "Felt blessed, inspired and motivated to be ever in service of Bharat in serene sublimity of Raj Ghat while paying respects to Pujya Bapu."

Dhankhar, who was the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate for the vice-presidential election held on 6 August, achieved a comfortable victory over the Opposition's joint candidate Margaret Alva, defeating her with 528 votes against 182.

Dhankhar has the highest winning margin in the last six VP elections held since 1997, with 74.36 percent.

The returning officer of the election had said that 725 ballots were cast, out of a total of 780, but 15 ballots were considered invalid. The voter turnout was 92.94 percent.

The vice president-designate also had the support of some regional parties like the Janata Dal (United), Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, and Shiv Sena, in addition to that of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

'Wish Him the Best for a Fruitful Tenure': PM Modi, Amit Shah Congratulate Dhankar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Jagdeep Dhankhar on becoming vice president and wished him a fruitful tenure.

Modi, who attended the oath-taking ceremony of Dhankhar, tweeted, "I congratulate him on becoming India's Vice President and wish him the very best for a fruitful tenure."

Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah also congratulated Dhankhar on being sworn-in as the vice president.

Shah tweeted in Hindi, "I congratulate Jagdeep ji on taking oath as the 14th Vice President of India. Dhankhar ji has always set high ideals in public service keeping national interest first. I am sure that the country will benefit greatly from his vast experience."

Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and G Kishan Reddy were among a host of BJP leaders who congratulated Dhankhar.

Pradhan tweeted, "Attended the oath-taking ceremony of Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar ji. Congratulate Shri Dhankar on being sworn-in as India's 14th Vice President. Wish him the best for a fruitful and rewarding tenure."

G Kishan Reddy tweeted, "A great day in the history of India as Kisan Putra Jagdeep Dhankhar Ji takes oath as the Vice President of India. Hearty congratulations to him. Our nation & parliamentary democracy will flourish under his able & astute leadership. Wishing Dhankar ji a fruitful tenure."

Congress leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar also congratulated Dhankhar and extended best wishes to him.

Who Is Jagdeep Dhankhar?

Born on 18 May, 1951, to a family of farmers in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu, Jagdeep Dhankhar was the second of his three brothers and a sister. Like most farming families, Dhankhar’s family too wasn’t financially well off and thus his childhood was one of struggle and hardship.

He graduated from the prestigious Maharaja College in Rajasthan’s Jaipur, with a BSc in Physics, and then completed his LLB from the University of Rajasthan in 1978-1979 and enrolled himself in Rajasthan’s Bar Council.

As a lawyer, Dhankhar fought cases primarily related to steel, coal mines, and international commercial arbitration in Rajasthan before moving to practise in the Supreme Court from 1990.

Dhankhar was elected to the 9th Lok Sabha from the Jhunjhunu Parliamentary Constituency in 1989 as a Janata Dal candidate. He became the chairperson of a parliamentary committee and a Union minister in 1990 in the minority government led by Chandra Shekhar.

He played an integral part in granting Other Backward Class status to the Jats in Rajasthan.

Dhankhar took oath as the governor of West Bengal on 30 July 2019, and had been at loggerheads with the Mamata Banerjee government ever since. He has been vocal about the issues like violence, lawlessness, and corruption in the state, and the administration not doing anything to curb it, while the Trinamool Congress calling him a BJP stooge.

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