NDA backed candidate Jagdeep Dhankar on Saturday was elected as the vice president of India. The 71-year-old secured 528 votes against opposition candidate Margaret Alva’s 182. His victory margin was the highest since 1997.

Hailed as ‘kisan putra’, Dhankar will succeed incumbent Venkatesh Naidu, who will leave his office on August 10. 

Also read: Margaret Alva congratulates VP Jagdeep Dhankar, blasts opposition for ‘supporting BJP’

Wishes poured in from various quarters after the election result was announced with President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Alva congratulating Dhankhar.

Dhankar, as president Murmu said, will bring in ‘long and rich experience in public life’. Howevrt, the former West Bengal governor has been a part of several controveries. 

The India VP has been involved in tiffs with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. 

Also read: What does India’s Vice President do?

Banerjee, who had won the West Bengal elections in 2022 but lost her seat – Nandiram, had called governor Dhankar about  concerns of voters not being able to vote in the constituency. 

“The local people are not being allowed to vote. I have been campaigning since morning. Now I am appealing to you, please watch,” she had tweeted. 

Dhankar replied: “Have been apprised of issues identified sometime back over phone to Mamata Banerjee. It has been assured that the rule of law will be followed.”

The TMC slammed governor Dhankar after he announced Mahua Mukherjee as the next Vice Chancellor of of Rabindra Bharati University (RBU). The state government was angered as a bill to nominate CM Mamata Banerjee as the Chancellor of state-run universities had not been approved by him. 

Also Read | How India elects its Vice-President

“The governor has once again proved that he does not believe in democratic principles and federalism. The Bill passed by the West Bengal Assembly to appoint the Chief Minister to the post of Chancellor of the state universities is awaited, while the Hon’ble Governor has announced one name as the Vice-Chancellor of RBU. He did not even consider it necessary to take the Education Minister and the Chief Minister into confidence before this announcement,” Trinamool Congress (TMC) spokesperson Kunal Ghosh. 

Also read: Jagdeep Dhankhar: All about India’s new Vice President elect

Jagdeep Dhankar, in June, slammed Mamata Banerjee for declaring July 21 as the ‘day of Jihad against the BJP’. He said that “authoritarian and undemocratic” statement will bring the “death knell” of democracy and rule of law.

WB CM Banerjee had once blocked Dhankar on Twitter. In January 2022, she accused him for ‘targeting’ and ‘abusing’ her government

 “I have been forced to block Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Twitter,” she said.

“Everyday he (Governor) was issuing tweets targeting and threatening govt officials as if we’re his bonded labourers,” the Chief Minister further added.

In February, Jagdeep Dhankar urged Banerjee to engage in dialogue with him and answer his queries

 “Dialogue, discussion and deliberation, particularly amongst constitutional functionaries like the chief minister and the Governor are quintessential to democracy and inseparable part of constitutional governance,” he wrote in a letter to Banerjee. 

A total of 55 MPs did not turn up to cast their votes, notable among them were BJP MPs Sunny Deol and Sanjay Dhotre, the Samajwadi Party’s Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shafiqur Rahman Barq.

Seven MPs from the Shiv Sena, including Sanjay Raut who is in jail in connection with a money laundering case, did not vote. Two MPs from the BSP and one from the AAP also did not vote. The Trinamool Congress with 36 MPs, including 23 in Lok Sabha, abstained from this election.