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Jagdeep Dhankhar elected Vice President of India with over 74% votes

Vice President Jagdish Dhankar

BJP nominee Jagdeep Dhankhar was elected as the Vice President of India on Saturday as he defeated the Opposition's Margaret Alva after securing an overwhelming majority of 528 votes compared to 182 polled by his rival. 

The Vice President also functions as the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. 

Mr Dhankhar, the former Governor of West Bengal, secured 74.36 per cent of the votes which is the highest winning margin in the last six vice presidential elections that have been held in the country since 1997. 

The returning officer said of the total 780 electors, 725 cast their ballots but 15 votes were found to be invalid. The turnout was 92.94 per cent. 

The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, which has a total of 36 MPs, including 23 in Lok Sabha, had abstained from voting. However, two of the party’s MPs cast their votes.  As many as 55 MPs did not vote in the vice presidential election. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with BJP chief JP Nadda, went to congratulate Mr Dhankhar after he won the election for the Vice President’s post. 

Mr Dhankhar also had the support of several other non-NDA parties including Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal, Jaganmohan Reddy's YSR Congress, Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party, Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Akali Dal and the Eknath Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena. 

Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Aam Aadmi Party and the nine MPs of Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray faction supported Ms Alva. 

Mr Dhankhar will be the second vice president from Rajasthan after Bhairon Singh Shekhawat who held the office between 2002 and 2007. 

Celebrations broke out at the state BJP headquarters in Jaipur and Mr Dhankhar’s hometown Jhunjhunu with people dancing to the beats of dhols and distributing sweets.

Meanwhile, Margaret Alva congratulated Mr Dhankhar on his victory. She also thanked leaders of the Opposition, and MPs who voted for her.