'Not even in my dreams...': Jagdeep Dhankhar, NDA's VP pick, files papers

Updated on Jul 18, 2022 01:14 PM IST

Vice presidential election 2022: Polls have been scheduled for August 5, with incumbent Venkaiah Naidu's term expiring on August 10.

Former Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankar is the BJP-led NDA's nominee for next month's vice presidential election (File)
Former Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankar is the BJP-led NDA's nominee for next month's vice presidential election (File)

Jagdeep Dhankhar - the ex Bengal governor and now Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance nominee for vice president - arrived at the Parliament Library building in Delhi Monday morning to file his papers.

“Not even in my dreams did I think that a common man like me would be given such an opportunity. A farmer's son has filed his nomination today... grateful to prime minister Narendra Modi and the leadership for this opportunity,” he said.

Dhankhar will face ex Rajasthan governor and five-term parliamentarian Margaret Alva - the pick of the opposition front - in the race to replace M Venkaiah Naidu as India's vice president.

A brief video shared by news agency ANI showed Dhankhar and a small retinue walking into the parliament building being greeted by party functionaries.

Earlier the former Bengal governor met MPs from different parties and sought their vote. The meeting was attended by prime minister Narendra Modi and senior BJP leaders, as well as opposition party leaders, news agency PTI said.

Dhankhar was revealed as the NDA pick over the weekend, with BJP chief JP Nadda making the announcement.

"Dhankar is known as the people's governor… the NDA decided that the son of a farmer who has administrative experience will be our nominee," he said.

Dhankhar's candidature has been backed by Bihar's ruling Janata Dal (United), which will vote for the NDA's Droupadi Murmu in the presidential race.

Maharashtra's ruling Shiv Sena - beset by internal strife that led to Eknath Shinde replacing Uddhav Thackeray as chief minister, has said it will vote for Alva; the Sena voted for Murmu in the other race.

Voting for the new president began at 10 am, with Murmu widely expected to seal a comfortable win with considerable cross-party support.

LIVE UPDATES: 2022 Presidential election

She is set to become the first tribal community leader (and only second woman) to hold India's highest constitutional post.

Venkaiah Naidu's term in office ends August 10. The election for the post - votes to be cast by lawmakers across the country, as they are doing today for a new president - is scheduled for August 5. The new vice president will be sworn in on August 11 and will hold the second-highest constitutional office. She/he also serves as the chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.

With input from ANI, PTI

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