Jagdeep Dhankhar was elected as India’s vice president, giving the ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi control of the South Asian nation’s two highest constitutional posts.
Dhankhar, the former Governor of West Bengal state and a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, defeated Margaret Alva, a former federal minister, fielded by the opposition led by the Indian National Congress and a few other regional parties.
Dhankhar won by 346 votes, said Utpal Kumar Singh secretary general of the lower house of the parliament and also the returning officer of the poll.
The electoral college for the vice president consists of votes from both houses of parliament. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s coalition had a comfortable majority making Dhankhar’s election a foregone conclusion.
The vice president takes over in the event of the death, resignation or removal of the president and is also chairman of the upper house of parliament, or Rajya Sabha.
The president is the supreme commander of India’s armed forces and oversees creation of a government in case of a hung parliament.
On July 21, Droupadi Murmu was elected as president of India, becoming the first tribal politician to occupy the top constitutional post in the world’s largest democracy.