West Bengal Governor Dhankhar To Be NDA’s Vice Presidential Nominee
Jagdeep Dhankhar's candidature as NDA’s vice presidential candidate was announced on Saturday.
He was serving as the Governor of West Bengal since 2019, and shared a tumultous relationship with state's CM Mamata Banerjee over constitutional proprieties and widespread political violence in the aftermath of state elections.
Dhankhar did his schooling from Sainik School, Chittorgarh on a full merit scholarship after completing his primary education from the government school at village Kithana in Jhunjhunu, where he was born in 1951.
He graduated with honours in physics from Maharaja's College in Jaipur and an LLB degree from Jaipur University in 1978-79.
A lawyer by profession, Jagdeep Dhankhar forayed into politics in 1989 and was elected to the Lok Sabha from Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan that same year and became a Union Minister in 1990.
Dhankhar, who practised in Rajasthan High Court and the Supreme Court, was designated a senior advocate in 1990, the same year he became a Union minister.
He was also a member of the Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha from 1993 to 1998 representing Kishangarh constituency.
The lawyer-turned politician was appointed governor of West Bengal in July 2019.
NDA’s nominee Dhankhar is described by the BJP as 'kisan putra' (son of farmer).
He comes from Jat community, a politically significant group which influences votes in a number of north Indian states besides Rajasthan. Like most Jat politicians from his time, Dhankhar was originally associated with Devi Lal and he followed his mentor when the latter walked out of the VP Singh government and became a union minister in 1990.
He joined the Congress when PV Narsimha Rao became the prime minister and Devi Lal was no more that effective. In 2008, he joined the BJP.
Along with other leaders, he was involved with the grant of OBC status to Other Backward Classes, including Jat community in Rajasthan.
Run-Ins With TMC
Under his tenure as Governor, Dhankar had to face a tough task of upholding India's Constitution while dealing with a bitter polity in the state.
Post the Assemnbly polls in 2021, Dhankhar took up the issue of post-poll violence. He visited the areas affected and held TMC responsible for worseing law and order situation in the state.
He was acrimoniously attacked by the ruling party, who accused him of working with a political agenda.
Recently, the TMC government passed a number of bills to replace him as the Chancellor of State universities with the Chief Minister of the state.
Interestingly, Banerjee had met Dhankhar on Wednesday along with BJP's pointsman for Northeast, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma at Darjeeling. No details of the meeting were made public by either side and it was termed as a courtesy call.
His years of experience as a lawyer, understanding of the Constitution and astute political sense would be considered apt for his role as the Vice-President, which also entails running Rajya Sabha as its Chairman.
(with inputs from PTI)
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