NDA candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar was elected the 14th Vice-President of India on Saturday as he defeated the joint Opposition candidate Margaret Alva.

Dhankhar, a former Governor of West Bengal, secured 528 votes while 80-year-old Alva got 182.

The numbers were stacked in favour of Dhankhar as the ruling BJP enjoys an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha and has 91 members in the Rajya Sabha.

Even before the results were announced, celebrations had started outside the residence of Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi where Dhankhar was present.

Dhankhar, 71, will succeed M Venkaiah Naidu, whose tenure ends on August 10.

92.94% votes cast

As many as 725 MPs cast their ballots, which is 92.94 per cent of the total votes, an official said, adding 15 votes were declared invalid.

Members of Parliament, including nominated ones, are entitled to vote in the vice-presidential poll.

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The voter turnout this time was lower than the 98.2 per cent recorded in the 2017 election when Venkaiah Naidu was elected Vice-President.

Dhankhar, who had been associated with the Janata Dal and the Congress, joined the BJP only in 2008 after a hiatus of nearly a decade when he concentrated on his legal career.

Champion of OBC issues

He has championed issues relating to Other Backward Classes, including the grant of OBC status to the Jat community in Rajasthan.

The BJP described Dhankhar as “kisan putra” while announcing his candidature, a move seen in the political circles as aimed at reaching out to the politically significant Jat community that had participated in huge numbers in the year-long farmers’ protests against three 2020 farm reform measures laws.

Dhankhar will take oath on August 11, a day after incumbent Venkaiah Naidu (73) demits office.