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Dhankar’s knowledge of law should serve him well in RS

As Mr. Dhankar is a lawyer by profession, the lawyer’s community will also be elated about his election as the Vice-President of India.

LOKENDRA MALIK |

The National Democratic Alliance has declared Mr Jagdeep Dhankar its candidate for the office of the VicePresident of India, the second highest constitutional office in the country. Given the numbers of the NDA in Parliament, Mr. Dhankar will most probably be elected as the Vice-President of India. The BJP president J. P. Nadda called him a “Kisan Putra” who had established himself as a “People’s Governor”. He will be the second Jat leader to reach high constitutional office in the country, after Chaudhary Charan Singh who had become the Prime Minister of India in 1979 for a short period. For the community of farmers, it is indeed a matter of great pride that a farmer’s son will be elected to the office of the Vice-President of India. In Indian social life, the sons and daughters of farmers face several difficulties and hurdles in getting good opportunities.

Mr. Dhankar’s election will certainly boost the collective confidence of the farming community. As Mr. Dhankar is a lawyer by profession, the lawyer’s community will also be elated about his election as the Vice-President of India. Mr Dhankar belongs to Rajasthan. He was born in a farmers’ family in 1951 in district Jhunjhunu. He comes from a humble background and is considered a self-made man who achieved all heights because of his hard work, sincerity, and commitment. After earning his LL.B. degree from the University of Rajasthan, he started the legal practice at the High Court of Rajasthan. He has been in public life for more than four decades. The first time he was elected as a Member of the Lok Sabha was in 1989 on a Janata Dal ticket at a young age and was lucky to get the guidance of farmers’ leader, Chaudhary Devi Lal, popularly known as Tau Devi Lal in Parliament. Mr. Chandra Shekhar was also fond of him. This is the reason he was selected as Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs in his government.

When the Chandra Shekhar government came out of office, Mr Dhankar returned to law practice in the Rajasthan High Court but did not change his political commitments as most politicians do after losing power. He continued his mission for the welfare of farmers and weaker sections of society and never hesitated to speak for them. He also remained a Member of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly from the Kishangarh constituency in Alwar. After a long time, he became active in politics once again and joined the BJP because of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership and image. After joining the BJP, Mr. Dhankar got a very responsible position as the Governor of West Bengal in 2019, mostly considered a tough state. His training as a lawyer helped him to keep a constitutional check on the TMC government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

He made headlines several times for his gubernatorial statements. He visited several places in West Bengal and acted as an active Governor who keeps himself busy in public service. He had differences with Mamata Banerjee on various issues including the law-and-order situation in the state and utilized all his powers to check the government. However, the media and the TMC also accused him of exceeding his constitutional limitations many times. He effectively used his powers under Article 167 of the Constitution to monitor the functioning of the TMC government and kept the Union Government informed about the West Bengal government. He got full support from the Union Government and sent a strong message that the Governor is not a rubber stamp. For him, it was not an easy task to work as a Governor in West Bengal as often his remarks were met with severe criticism by the TMC leadership in West Bengal.

The BJP leadership got impressed with his work as the Governor of West Bengal and selected him for the office of the Vice-President of India. As Mr. Dhankar is going to occupy the office of the Vice-President of India, people have many expectations from him. His main function as the Vice-President of India will be centered on and around Rajya Sabha as its chairperson. Thus, he will have to make a balance in the House and treat all political parties equally. He will be a link between the government and the opposition and would have to facilitate a decent discussion in Rajya Sabha.

He needs to protect the interests of the minorities and weaker sections in parliamentary dialogues. It is believed that he will conduct the Rajya Sabha proceedings effectively since he has been a lawyer of the Supreme Court and High Courts and is well-versed in the constitutional and parliamentary laws relating to the conduct of proceedings in Parliament. In his media statement, Prime Minister Modi also appreciated his contribution to the legal profession. “He is also well-versed with legislative affairs. I am sure that he will be an outstanding chair in the Rajya Sabha and guide the proceedings of the House with the aim of furthering national progress”, PM Modi said at the time of the announcement of Mr Dhankar’s name for the office of VicePresident.