Ram Nath Kovind has been elected as the next President of India. The government-backed candidate won two-third of the votes cast by an electoral college of MPs and state lawmakers. Kovind, 71, will be sworn in on July 25.
Flowers and extra security had arrived at the former Bihar governor’s home in Delhi long before the official announcement and sweets were passed around at his hometown in Uttar Pradesh.
“It is a great responsibility, my job will be to uphold and protect the Constitution. My election to this post is a sign of the greatness of India’s democracy,” Kovind said after the results.
A total of 4,800 members of parliament and state assemblies cast votes on Monday to choose between Kovind and Meira Kumar. The presidential poll on Monday saw nearly 99 per cent voting, the highest ever, according to returning officer said. Polling was held simultaneously at 32 polling stations, one in Parliament House and one each in 29 state assemblies and two union territories with assemblies.
Counting began at 11 am with the ballot box of Parliament House being opened first, followed by the ones received from all the states.
Ram Nath Kovind is a Dalit leader and a farmer’s son. The former Bihar Governor has served two terms as a member of the Rajya Sabha. He is a trained lawyer who has appeared at the High Court and Supreme Court.