The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday nominated West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar as its candidate for the vice presidential election, reported PTI, citing party chief JP Nadda. The polls will be held on August 6 and the last date for filing nominations is July 19.

Nadda said Dhankhar is a “kisan putra” (son of a farmer) who established himself as “people’s governor”, reported The Indian Express.

The decision to elect Dhankhar for the election was taken at a BJP parliamentary board meeting attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union ministers Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Nadda, among others.

The term of the current Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu ends on August 10.

A former MP, Dhankhar was sworn in as the governor of West Bengal in July 2019. Since then, he and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have been at loggerheads on several matters.

Dhankhar has been a vocal critic of the Mamata Banerjee government. On her part, Banerjee has accused Dhankhar of being a mouthpiece of the BJP-led central government. She has alleged that the governor interferes with the state government’s functioning.

The BJP is in a strong position to have its candidate elected to the post.

The electoral college for picking the vice president comprises Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPS. Of Parliament’s current strength of 780, the BJP alone has 394 MPs, more than the majority mark of 390.

Meanwhile, Modi said he was glad that Dhankhar is the BJP’s vice presidential candidate.

“Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar ji has excellent knowledge of our Constitution,” Modi said in another tweet. “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.”

Dhankhar also thanked Modi for nominating him. Union Minister Rajnath Singh, former Education Minister Prakash Javadekar, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai were among many BJP leaders to congratulate the governor.

For the presidential polls, the BJP has nominated former Jharkhand governor Droupadi Murmu, while the Opposition has picked former Union minister Yashwant Sinha.

The presidential elections will be held on July 18 and the votes will be counted on July 21. The last date for filing nominations is June 29.