Former West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar took oath as the 14th Vice President of India on Thursday. President Draupadi Murmu administered the oath to Dhankhar at a brief ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Dhankhar’s predecessor M Venkaiah Naidu were also among the dignitaries present at the function. Dhankhar being the Deputy Speaker and also serving as the Speaker of the Rajya Sabha, both the Houses of Parliament will be presided over by the leaders of Rajasthan.
Dhankhar, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) candidate for the vice-presidency, defeated the opposition candidate Margaret Alva by a margin of 346 votes. As per the data provided by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, out of 780 votes, 725 votes were cast. Dhankhar got 528 votes while Alva got 182 votes. 50 were absent and 15 votes were found invalid.
Born in 1951 to a farmer family in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan, Dhankhar attended a local government school before going to Sainik School in Chittorgarh. She is married to Sudesh Dhankhar.
Since he was appointed the Governor of Bengal, Dhankhar has been virtually one-man opposition, regularly taking on the TMC government on various issues. The heated argument between the governor and the state government was such that CM Banerjee even blocked Dhankhar on social media.
According to the Raj Bhavan website, Dhankhar is an avid reader, and a sports lover – he has been the president of the Rajasthan Olympic Association and the Rajasthan Tennis Association – and loves to travel with his family.