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Jagdeep Dhankhar Takes Vice President Oath: Why “Kisan Putra” Has Value Beyond Symbolic

Jagdeep Dhankhar taking oath as 14th Vice-President of India.

New Delhi:

Jagdeep Dhankhar, the political veteran from Rajasthan who additionally served as Governor of Bengal, at this time took oath because the 14th Vice-President of India. Within the election on August 6, he defeated the Congress’s Margaret Alva, who was the Opposition candidate, getting 74.36 per cent of the votes — the highest winning margin within the final six V-P elections since 1997.

The oath was administered by President Droupadi Murmu, who too was elected just lately. Mr Dhankhar succeeds M Venkaiah Naidu. He turns into chairperson of the Rajya Sabha by default. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cited Mr Dhankhar’s farming background as a standout credential — repeatedly calling him “kisan putra” (farmers’ son) in his tweets. And that is not with out which means.

Mr Dhankhar’s house state goes to polls subsequent yr. Putting a Jat and a “farmers’ son” like him within the second highest Constitutional place in India might assist the BJP’s narrative towards Ashok Gehlot’s Congress authorities there. 

Jhunjhunu, the district the place Mr Dhankhar was born in village Kithana, is a component of a bigger cultural area that stretches past Rajasthan, into Haryana and Uttar Pradesh too. 

In Haryana, too, Jats type a big chunk — it’s due for polls simply after the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. Right here the BJP, led by a non-Jat chief minister, couldn’t retain energy by itself final time, and needed to take help from Dushyant Chautala’s get together that has some heft locally. 

By the way, Dushyant Chautala is a great-grandson of former deputy prime minister Devi Lal, in whose tutelage Mr Dhankhar began his political profession. “I by no means thought, even in my goals, that an individual with a humble background like me will get this chance,” Mr Dhankhar, 71, mentioned on the time of submitting his nomination papers. 

Earlier than coming to the BJP almost 20 years in the past, Jagdeep Dhankar had stints within the Congress and Janata Dal. 

He was a lawyer on the Rajasthan Excessive Courtroom when he entered politics, successful the 1989 Lok Sabha election from house base Jhunjhunu on the Janata Dal ticket. Within the short-lived, Congress-supported authorities of Chandra Shekhar, he was a minister. 

He joined the Congress forward of the 1991 Lok Sabha election however misplaced from Ajmer even because the get together got here to energy and PV Narasimha Rao grew to become PM. He then shifted to state politics and served as MLA (1993-98). However, as Ashok Gehlot rose to the highest of Congress in Rajasthan, Mr Dhankhar noticed his probability dim. After years of being within the shadows, he shifted to the BJP by the 2000s.

Within the BJP, he largely labored throughout the organisation for almost 20 years earlier than his identify made nationwide headlines once more three years in the past. In 2019, he was appointed Governor of West Bengal.

Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress authorities there accused him of doing the bidding of the BJP-led central authorities. Mr Dhankhar didn’t attempt to cover his dislikes both. The controversy-a-day tenure gave extra prominence to Mr Dhankhar. He resigned final month to get into the Vice-Presidential contest.

Mr Dhankhar, the second Vice President from Rajasthan after Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, had the help of a number of non-NDA events too. The Trinamool Congress, although, determined to abstain from the voting. It didn’t again Margaret Alva, both, for it was unhappy with “the style by which the Opposition candidate was chosen”.

On the non-public entrance, Mr Dhankhar began schooling in his village and later joined the Sainik Faculty in Chittorgarh on a scholarship, in line with his profile within the Bengal Raj Bhavan web site.

In Jaipur for additional research, he received a bachelor’s diploma in physics from Maharaja Faculty, after which received his legislation diploma from the College of Rajasthan. 

He has a daughter, Kamna, with spouse Sudesh Dhankhar.

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