Jagdeep Dhankhar elected India’s next vice-president

14th Vice-President of India: National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate and former West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has been elected as the 14th Vice President of India.

Key Points:

  • He won the vice-presidential election by getting 528 votes of the total 725 votes against Opposition Candidate Margaret Alva's 182. Ms Alva, who is ex-Union Minister and 5-time Congress MP, was Opposition candidate for Vice President’s Post.
  • In terms of percentage, Dhankhar secured 74.36%, which is the highest winning margin in the last six vice-presidential elections.
  • He will be sworn-in as 14th Vice President of India on 11th August 2022, a day after the term of the incumbent Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu ends.
  • Mr Dhankhar will also be appointed the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
  • The record for the vice-presidential victory with the largest margin of victory still belongs to KR Narayanan, who in 1992, defeated independent contender Kaka Joginder Singh by winning 700 of the 701 votes cast.

About Jagdeep Dhankhar:

  • Jagdeep Dhankhar is an Indian politician, who was elected for the Vice President Elections by the NDA from Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP).
  • He was born on 18th May 1951 in Kithana village in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district.
  • He completed his schooling at Sainik School, Chittorgarh.
  • He pursued his law degree from the University of Rajasthan.
  • He practiced law as a lawyer in Rajasthan High Court and then in Supreme Court for over 40 years.
  • He has also been an ex-member of ICC - International Court of Arbitration.

His Political Journey:

  • Mr. Dhankar's political career began in 1989–1991 when he was elected to the legislature from the Janata Dal-affiliated Jhunjhunu Lok Sabha constituency.
  • In 1990-1991, he served as Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs in under PM Chandra Shekhar’s minority Government.
  • On 30th July 2019, he was appointed as the Governor of West Bengal by the then President Ram Nath Kovind.

About the Vice President of India:

  • The vice president of India is the deputy to the head of state of the Republic of India, i.e. the president of India.
  • The office of vice president is the second-highest constitutional office after the president and ranks second in the order of precedence and first in the line of succession to the presidency.
  • The vice president is also a member of the Parliament of India as the ex officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

How is the Vice President elected?

  • Article 66 of the Constitution of India states the manner of election of the vice president.
  • The vice president is elected indirectly, by an electoral college consisting of members (elected as well as nominated) of both Houses of Parliament and not the members of state legislative assembly.
  • Members of both Houses of Parliament, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, make up the electoral college.
  • The election is conducted using the proportional representation system and a single transferable vote.
  • The voting is conducted by Election Commission of India (ECI) via secret ballot.
  • The electoral process for the election of the vice-president consists of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha members. Rajya Sabha has a total of 233 elected members and 12 nominated, while the lower house has 543 elected members and 2 nominated.
  • Every candidate has to make a security deposit of ₹15,000 in the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The election is to be held no later than 60 days of the expiry of the term of office of the outgoing vice president.

What are eligibility criteria?

  • A candidate needs to be at least 35 years old.
  • They also must be Indian citizens and fulfill all the requirements for the membership of the Upper House.
  • Candidates holding profit-making position with the government of India or a state government, are not eligible to become a Vice President.

How votes are counted?

  • The number of first-choice votes received by each MP is determined.
  • Then, the calculated numbers are added together and divided by two, one is added to the quotient, disregarding any remainder.
  • The resulting number is the quota required for a candidate to run in the election.
  • Later on, after the calculation is done, if the total number of votes credited to any candidate at the end of the first or any subsequent count is equal to or greater than the quota, that candidate is declared elected.