New Delhi: The son of a farmer, first-generation lawyer and public governor, BJP chief JP Nadda spoke about him as he announced the name of West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar as the NDA’s presidential candidate.
In 2019, Dhankhar was appointed governor of West Bengal, mainly because of his legal experience in a state ruled by the opposition. Three years later, if elected on August 6, he will make things easier with his understanding of the law as he tries to keep his balance in the Rajya Sabha.
Dhankhar’s appointment is also important from a political point of view, as the BJP tries to convince Jats, who has been angry with the Modi government since the times of agrarian unrest. The community has considerable influence in Rajasthan, where elections will be called next year, and in Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh. After Dhankhar is elected, Rajasthan will have the distinction of sending presiding leaders to both houses of Parliament: Lok Sabha chairman Om Birla is a Kota MP.
Party sources Bharatiya Janata (BJP) said that by presenting a Jat candidate, the party will be able to break the unity between the opposition parties, as seen in the case of presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu.
Born into a farming family in a remote village in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district, Dhankhar completed his studies at Sainik School, Chittorgarh. After graduating in physics from Maharaja College, Jaipur, he did an LLB at Rajasthan University in 1979.
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Despite being a first generation lawyer, he became one of the many names in Rajasthan. Dhankhar has served in the Rajasthan Supreme Court and the Supreme Court.
His political career began in 1989 when he won the Lok Sabha elections in Jhunjhunu with the Janata Dal ticket. He was given the ballot mainly because of his relationship with his guru Devilal. After that he became Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs in 1990. In 1993, he was elected a member of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly of Kishangarh with a ticket to Congress. Dhankhar, a former Supreme Court lawyer, had joined the BJP in 2003. His brother Randeep Dhankhar is still in Congress.
The leader of the opposition in the Rajasthan Assembly, Gulab Chand Kataria, said that when he (Dhankhar) was elected deputy, Bhairon Singh Sekhwat was the prime minister. He was in Congress at the time. His arguments caught Shekhawat’s attention during the bill debate. After losing the election, he moved to Delhi and kept in touch with most of the central leaders.
Dhankhar’s relative, former BJP MP Ram Singh Kaswan, confirmed the senior leader’s networking skills. “When I was in Delhi, I used to meet a lot of people,” Kaswan said.
Another BJP source said Dhankhar was part of the team of lawyers who countered the terrorist charges filed against Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Indresh Kumar by the previous UPA government when he left. close to the Sangh.
“He fought in many cases on behalf of the RSS leader. At that time his role as a lawyer was noticed and he was rewarded when Amit Shah-Narendra Modi arrived in Delhi.
As governor of Bengal, Dhankhar asked a series of questions with the Trinamool Congress government led by Mamata Banerjee. Although the Bengal government has often accused him of being a “center man”, Dhankhar has said he has followed his role imposed by the Constitution.
Whether it was the mess of Jadavpur University and the appointment of a DGP, or the government’s handling of the Covid crisis and relief efforts after Cyclone Amphan, Dhankhar was often at the opposite end of Mamata. There was such heated discussion between the two that a TMC delegation had written a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind in December 2020 urging him to remove the governor.
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Rajasthan elections in mind
Kataria told ThePrint that Dhankhar has shown that he is not only an expert in law, but can also work in an opposition-ruled state like West Bengal. Proceeding to the Rajya Sabha is also like managing the situation in Bengal. NDA has majority, but BJP needs people like Dhankhar, who has learned the art of running government business in difficult circumstances. Referring to the suspension of 12 members of Rajya Sabha last year, he said.
Kataria said a strong personality is needed to do justice to the role of Rajya Sabha’s president.
But the BJP also chose Dhankhar for the election, noting that everyone, from the prime minister to other BJP leaders, have mentioned his role as the son of a farmer and fighting for the rights of Jat farmers.
In Rajasthan, jats make up about 12 percent of the total electorate. BJP sources said Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot would be especially confused by Dhankhar’s nomination as he cannot go against his party’s whip to oppose the candidacy.
Nihal Chand Chauhan, Ganganagar BJP MP, told ThePrint that Dhankhar’s selection would send the right message to the Jats before the assembly elections. “He has played an important role in the fight for Jat farmers … He fought for OBC status of Jats in Rajasthan.”
However, former BJP state president Arun Chaturvedi told ThePrint that in 1998, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee came to Sikar to address a Jat farmers ’demonstration demanding reservations, BJP support had announced that the government would be formed. Later, the BJP will focus on demand. for booking. Gyan Prakash Pilaniya was the leader of this movement; Dhankhar led the movement in some other parts.
Other BJP leaders told ThePrint that while Dhankhar was not the face of the Jat movement, he will always be remembered for his association with Rajasthan.
The unrest of the community (Jat) with the BJP is well known, as was seen in neighboring Haryana after the party elected non-Jat Manohar Lal Khattar as its chief minister. After that, the BJP paid attention to the Jannayak Janata Party to quell the anger of the community in this state.
A central BJP leader said that when Dhankhar takes over as chairman of the Rajya Sabha, “he will have to fill the space left by Venkaiah Naidu, who has more legislative experience and ties to political parties.” The belligerent nature of Dhankhar can anger the opposition. You will need to use your persuasion and legal skills to manage the procedures in the Home for the Elderly.
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