Announcing the decision, BJP chief J.P. Nadda said Dhankhar is a “kisan putra (son of farmer)” who established himself as the “people’s governor”. Dhankar had met PM Modi earlier in the day.
The term of incumbent M Venkaiah Naidu ends on August 10. The last date for filing of nomination papers for the poll is July 19 and the election is scheduled for August 6.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, and Nitin Gadkari besides party president JP Nadda attended the meeting of the BJP’s apex organisational body on Saturday.
In 2017, the party had named the then Cabinet minister Naidu, a former BJP president and veteran parliamentarian, as its vice president candidate, after surprising everyone by picking the then Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit, for the presidential contest.
Both Kovind and Naidu had won the polls comfortably to occupy the two highest constitutional posts of the country.
The BJP is again in a strong position to ensure the win of its candidates. BJP MPs will hold another meeting ahead of the presidential election on July 18, in which NDA’s pick Draupadi Murmu has a clear advantage over the Opposition‘s joint candidate Yashwant Sinha.
Opposition to declare VP candidate after BJP
The opposition parties have decided to field a joint candidate to contest against the government’s nominee for the Vice-President’s post.
However, unlike the Presidential elections where the opposition parties came together and declared Sinha as their joint candidate even before the NDA had announced Murmu’s name, this time the opposition camp said it will finalise its vice-presidential candidate only after the ruling alliance announces its nominee.
The opposition wants to ensure its candidate matches the stature and profile of the NDA nominee, so that the contest does not become one-sided as it seems to be happening with the Presidential race. Murmu’s credentials as a tribal and a woman have made parties from the rival camp switch sides.
Congress, TMC, Left parties, DMK, RJD, SP, AAP among others have banded together for the presidential and vice-presidential polls. Telangana CM K Chandrashekhar Rao is also learnt to have been calling up other opposition leaders for the exercise and also for floor coordination in Parliament during the monsoon session to take on the NDA government. Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik’s BJD is said to be supporting Murmu’s candidacy.
Procedure for electing V-P
The electoral college for picking the next vice president, who is also the Rajya Sabha chairperson, comprises both elected and nominated members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. In presidential elections, nominated members are not a part of the electoral college.
For Vice President’s elections, states have no role to play unlike in President’s elections where state legislative assemblies’ elected members are a part of the electoral college.
Since all the electors are members of Parliament, the value of the vote of each MP in the V-P elections is the same i.e. 1 (one).
Out of Parliament’s current strength of 780, the BJP alone has 394 MPs, more than the majority mark of 390.
The term of Naidu, the present incumbent, ends on August 10.
The last date for filing of nomination papers for the poll is July 19 and the election is scheduled for August 6.
Many vice presidents have gone on to become President. India has never had a woman Vice-President.
(With inputs from agencies)