Yesterday on 8th Aug 2022, National Democratic Alliance candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar was elected as the 14th Vice President of India. He defeated the Opposition’s candidate Margaret Alva. But, none of these is surprising enough as the results were always in favour of NDA because of its high number of seats in the Electoral College.
However, the cross-voting in the vice-presidential, as well as presidential elections, should be a matter of discussion as there’s much more to it and in fact, it is a trailer of what the nation is going to witness in 2024.
Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar’s historical victory
Dhankhar, former Governor of West Bengal, secured 528 votes while Alva received only 182. It was the highest victory margin since 1997 as Dhankhar secured 72.8 percent of the 725 valid votes cast. Above Dhankhar is only KR Narayanan, who became the Vice President with the highest victory margin by securing 700 of the 701 votes cast in 1992. Dhankhar will take oath on August 11 to replace incumbent M. Venkaiah Naidu.
Alva was never going to win
Last month, on 17th July, the opposition held a meeting after which NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar had announced the unanimous decision of the opposition parties that Governor and veteran politician Margaret Alva will be the opposition’s joint candidate for the second highest post in the country.
It was reported that both TMC and AAP kept a strategic distance from the joint opposition meeting. Despite the fact that Alva had been the reason for embarrassment of the Congress party multiple times, she was chosen as the vice presidential candidate only to put a full stop to her political career. What could have been a better option to silence your critique, right?
The Electoral College comprises of 788 members, but due to eight vacancies in Rajya Sabha, the actual strength was 780. Moreover, as per the reports, out of total 780 electors, only 725 cast their votes but 15 votes were found to be invalid.
Notably, in the V-P electoral college, the BJP alone had 394 votes and with the allies and support from the other parties, the NDA claimed over 510 votes. On the contrary, the Opposition had close to 200 votes. This is exactly the reason why Alva was never going to win.
Cross-voting made Alva invalid
You see, while Alva’s defeat was unavoidable, it was the cross-voting that made the results humiliating for the Congress party.
The TMC abstained from voting as it claimed that Alva’s name wasn’t discussed with them as the opposition’s choice. Though Alva had the support of a larger number of parties including the Congress, DMK, CPM, CPI, NCP, RJD among others – she did not even receive the anticipated number of votes.
Read more: Electoral win of Draupadi Murmu as the President of India is the trailer of what’s to come in 2024
The results have clearly exposed the rifts in the opposition and even inside the UPA camp as many non-NDA parties refused to side with Congress.
The trailer for what is to come in 2024
While Dhankhar’s victory indicates a weak opposition, the presidential election too made it quite evident that 2024 will be the BJP’s year. The presidential poll had seen cross-voting from 17 MPs, mostly in favour of President Droupadi Murmu. In presidential polls, President Murmu had secured 540 votes of the 748 votes while the joint Opposition’s candidate, Yashwant Sinha, could garner only 208 votes which is way lower than expected.
The opposition unity is a myth. The cross-voting in both elections has exposed this truth. It has also revealed that 2024 will be a cakewalk for BJP, all thanks to the splintered opposition.
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