West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankar has been chosen as the Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate for the post of Vice President of India. BJP national president JP Nadda made the announcement following a Parliamentary Board meeting of the party, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Prime Minister met Dhankar in New Delhi earlier on Saturday, and that was followed by subsequent meetings held by the Prime Minister with the governors of Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, an Manipur.
Dhankar was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1989 on a Janata Dal ticket from Jhunhjunu in Rajasthan, and served as Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs between 1990 and 1991 in the short-lived government led by Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar.
Dhankar was also elected to the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly as a Congress candidate from Kishangarh in 1993, in an election that saw the BJP led by Bhairon Singh Shekhawat retain power in the state.
If elected, Dhankar will follow in Shekhawat’s footsteps to take up the office of Vice President of India after participating in electoral politics in Rajasthan.
After joining the BJP, Dhankar was appointed the national convener of the party’s Law and Legal Affairs Department. The lawyer-turned-politician has been a member of the International Court of Arbitration. Practicing in the Supreme Court of India for nearly three decades, his areas of expertise were litigation in the areas of steel, coal, and mines.
In his three years as governor in Kolkata, Dhankar has often been critical of the functioning of the West Bengal state government led by Mamata Banerjee. However, just this week, the two met in Darjeeling, along with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, in what appeared to be a cordial exchange.
More to follow…