Jagdeep Dhankhar is India's new Vice President, defeats opposition's Margaret Alva

NEW DELHI: NDA candidate and former West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar comfortably won the vice-presidential election on Saturday with nearly 500 votes, beating the opposition-backed candidate Margaret Alva who got fewer than 200 votes.
Dhankhar, who will also serve as the Rajya Sabha chairman, is succeeding incumbent M Venkaiah Naidu, whose tenure ends on August 10.
As many as 725 MPs, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former PM Manmohan Singh, cast their votes today in the election for the second-highest constitutional post in the country.
Around 93 per cent polling was recorded, with more than 50 MPs not exercising their franchise.
While Modi and his predecessor Manmohan cast their ballots early in the day, opposition leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi voted a little after noon.
The Trinamool Congress, which has 39 MPs, including 23 in Lok Sabha, had 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.
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.


Who is Jagdeep Dhankhar?
Dhankhar, a native of Rajasthan, is the former governer of West Bengal and was often in the news for his run-ins with the Mamata Banerjee dispensation and her party, the Trinamool Congress.
Born on May 18, 1951 in Kithana village of Jhunjhunu district of the state, he completed his school education from Sainik School in Chittorgarh.
He went on to pursue Physics at the University of Rajasthan and also completed his LLB from the same university.
Dhankhar then practised law at Rajasthan high court and the Supreme Court.
He entered politics in 1989 and was elected to Lok Sabha from Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu the same year.
Later, he served as a minister of state for parliamentary affairs in the Janata Dal government led by Chandra Shekhar.
From 1993-1998, Dhankhar represented the Kishangarh constituency of Ajmer district in Rajasthan assembly.
He belongs to the Jat community, and is set to take oath as the first OBC Vice President of India.
(With inputs from agencies)

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