Jagdeep Dhankhar is India's new Vice President, defeats Opposition's Margaret Alva
Vice-president election: National Democratic Alliance Vice Presidential candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar on Saturday won the vice-presidential election to be the 14th VP of India. He was pitted against Opposition's pick Margaret Alva. As many as 725 MPs of the total 780 voted in the elections. Around 93 per cent polling was recorded in the vice presidential election on Saturday, with more than 50 MPs not exercising their franchise.
Dhankar achieved 528 votes while Margaret Alva received 182 votes. 15 votes remained invalid.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his predecessor Manmohan Singh cast their ballots early in the day, while opposition leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi voted a little after noon, the officials said.
The Trinamool Congress, which has 39 MPs, including 23 in Lok Sabha, has already announced its decision to abstain from the election.
However, two of its MPs -- Sisir Kumar Adhikari and Dibyendu Adhikari -- broke ranks and cast their ballots.
Polling to elect the next Vice President of India began at 10 am, with Modi being among the first ones to vote. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in a wheelchair and needed support to stand up and vote. CPM MP John Brittas was among those who helped the veteran leader in exercising his franchise. The two-term former prime minister greeted those present with folded hands.
Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP president J P Nadda, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, and Commerce Minister and Leader of House in Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal were among the leaders who turned up early at the Parliament House.
Congress MP Abhishek Singhvi, who has contracted COVID-19, voted wearing a PPE kit. "Satisfied that I could perform my duties as a third term parliamentarian in the #VP elections, even if in extraterrestrial attire!" he tweeted.
While two BJP MPs -- Sunny Deol and Sanjay Dhotre -- did not vote, among the prominent opposition MPs who were absent during voting included Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shafiqur Rahman Barq (both Samajwadi Party).
Dhankar is likely to succeed incumbent M Venkaiah Naidu, whose tenure ends on August 10.
All MPs of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, including nominated members, are entitled to vote in the vice presidential election. The two Houses of Parliament together have a sanctioned strength of 788 MPs, of which there are eight vacancies in the Upper House.
PM Modi, others pour in congratulatory wishes
PM Modi - Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked those who voted for Jagdeep Dhankhar. Congratulating Dhankhar he wrote on Twitter, "I thank all those MPs who have voted for Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar Ji. At a time when India marks Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, we are proud to be having a Kisan Putra Vice President who has excellent legal knowledge and intellectual prowess."
Rajnath Singh - Defence Minister Rajnath Singh took to Twitter to congratulate Jagdeep Dhankhar on winning the Vice president election. He wrote, "Congratulations to Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar on winning the Vice Presidential elections. His long public life, wide experience and deep understanding of people’s issues will certainly benefit the nation. I am confident that he will make an exceptional VP & Rajya Sabha Chairman."
JP Nadda - Congratulating Dhankhar Nadda wrote, "Proud moment for the country to have the son of a farmer as the Vice-President."
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