INDIA.Delhi: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar will be the ruling NDA’s candidate for the post of Vice President of India, BJP chief JP Nadda announced today.
“After all deliberations and consultations, we have decided to announce Kisan Putra (farmer’s son) Jagdeep Dhankhar as BJP and NDA’s vice-presidential candidate,” he told a press conference, establishing himself as a “people’s governor”.
Sources say Mr. Dhankhar’s nomination will send a big message to the Jat community to which he belongs. The Jat community in western Uttar Pradesh supported the BJP even after massive protests by farmers against the now repealed farm laws.Jat voters will play a big role in the next Rajasthan elections as well.
Dhankhar has been associated with the BJP for the past two decades and many political observers suggest that he has been “rewarded” for jarring with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee in favour of the BJP.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Parliamentary Council at its headquarters in Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with several senior leaders like Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan were present at the meeting.
Prime Minister Modi tweeted his support for Mr Dhankhar,“Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar Ji has excellent knowledge of our Constitution. He is also well versed in legislative matters. I am sure he will be an excellent Speaker in the Rajya Sabha and lead the proceedings of the House to promote national progress @jdhankhar1,”.
Since taking over as governor in July 2019, Mr Dhankhar has often grabbed headlines for his prickly relationship with opposition leader and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. While accusing the state government of “extreme appeasement, communal patronage and extortion by mafia syndicates”, Trinamool Congress leaders called Mr Dhankhar “communal”.
Earlier this month, Bengal’s governor urged the Bengali intelligentsia to “break the silence” on what he described as the “decimation of democratic values” in the state.
Just as the BJP-led NDA announced Governor Dhankhar as its vice-presidential candidate, Banerjee convened a meeting of Trinamool MPs from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in Kolkata to discuss her party’s strategy for the August 6 polls and also to finalize the party’s action plan during the monsoon session of parliament. This meeting will be held at Banerjee’s CM residence in Kolkata on July 21.
The Electoral College for selecting the next Vice President, who is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha by default, consists of members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
Out of Parliament’s current strength of 780, the BJP has 394 MPs, which is more than the majority mark of 390.
In 2017, the party named the then Cabinet Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, a former BJP president and a parliamentary veteran, as its vice-presidential candidate.
Naidu won the election with good numbers and occupied the second highest constitutional post in the country. His current term ends on August 10.
The deadline for submitting candidate lists to the poll is July 19, and the elections are scheduled for August 6.