Jagdeep Dhankhar took over as the fourteenth Vice President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha on Thursday. A renowned lawyer and former West Bengal Governor, Dhankhar, was administered the oath of office by the President, Smt. Droupadi Murmu at a swearing-in ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Prior to oath taking, Shri Dhankhar visited Rajghat in the morning today and paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi ji. “Felt blessed, inspired and motivated to be ever in service of Bharat in serene sublimity of Raj Ghat while paying respects to Pujya Bapu,” he tweeted.
The Vice President is also the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. Dhankhar was elected as Vice President on August 6 after defeating the Opposition candidate Margaret Alva.
The BJP-led NDA candidate won the election comfortably with 528 votes against Alva’s 182. Dhankhar secured 74.36 per cent. He has the highest winning margin in the last six vice presidential elections held since 1997.
Born on May 18, 1951, in an agrarian household in a village in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district, Dhankhar completed his school education from Sainik School, Chittorgarh. After finishing his graduation in physics, he pursued LLB from the University of Rajasthan. Despite being a first-generation professional, he became one of the leading lawyers in the state.
Dhankhar, 71, has practised in both the Rajasthan High Court and the Supreme Court of India. He entered public life after getting elected as a Member of Parliament from Jhunjhunu in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections on a Janata Dal ticket.
He also served as a Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs in 1990. His politics was initially influenced by former deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal. Dhankhar, who belongs to the Jat community, later shifted focus to state politics and was elected to the Rajasthan Assembly in 1993 from the Kishangarh constituency in Ajmer district.Dhankhar was appointed as the Governor of West Bengal in 2019.
The Vice President of India, which is the second-highest constitutional post in the country, is elected through an electoral college consisting of members of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha.