Jagdeep Dhankhar is India’s next vice president

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Jagdeep Dhankhar will become India’s next vice president, as the Lok Sabha general secretary on Saturday evening declared him as the winner in the elections to the post held earlier in the day, ANI reported.

Of the electoral college of 780 MPs, 725 cast their votes in the polling that started on Friday morning and concluded at 5 pm.

The former West Bengal governor, who had been nominated by the National Democratic Alliance received 346 of the votes. Opposition candidate and former Union minister Margaret Alva received 182 votes, Lok Sabha General Secretary Utpal K Singh said. Fifteen votes were termed invalid, he added.

Eight seats in the Upper House are currently vacant, and the Trinamool Congress, with 39 MPs, had decided to abstain. However two of the party’s MPs Sisir Kumar Adhikari and Dibyendu Adhikari did vote on Friday, according to PTI.

The term of the current Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu ends on August 10.

A former MP, Dhankhar was sworn in as the governor of West Bengal in July 2019. Since then, he and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have been at loggerheads on several matters.

Dhankhar has been a vocal critic of the Mamata Banerjee government. On her part, Banerjee has accused Dhankhar of being a mouthpiece of the BJP-led central government. She has alleged that the governor interferes with the state government’s functioning.

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