More than 65% vote in favor of BJP candidate
India got its 14th President today as the counting of votes for the Presidential election which began at 11 am has ended. NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind has won with a comfortable majority.
Ram Nath Kovind would be the next occupant of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The election, which was held on Monday, was a one way contest between Ram Nath Kovind and Meira Kumar.
Ram Nath Kovind will be the second Dalit President of India after KR Narayanan.
“Kovind secured 2930 votes with a value of 7,02,044. Meira Kumar got 1,844 votes with the value of 3,67,314, and 77 votes were invalid,” said Anoop Mishra, the returning officer for the Presidential election 2017.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi lavished praise on Kovind. “Gladdened by the extensive support for Shri Ram Nath Kovind Ji among MPs & across various states,” said the PM. He also spoke of his long association with the President-elect.
The non-NDA parties that supported Kovind included the AIADMK, the Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party, the Biju Janata Dal, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the Indian National Lok Dal. Significantly, Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (U) also supported Kovind, going against its Bihar ‘grand alliance’ partners, the Congress and Lalu Prasad’s RJD.
The joint Opposition candidate Kumar had the support of the Congress, of course, as well as of the Nationalist Congress Party, the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samajwadi Party, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the All India Trinamool Congress, the Communist parties, the DMK, and the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, among a few others.
A lawyer by profession, Kovind has worked extensively in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. He has been the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) Scheduled Caste Morcha chief (1998-2002) and the president of the All-India Koli Samaj. He also served as the national spokesperson of the party. The saffron party had even tired to project him as an alternative to Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh.
Kovind served as member of the board of management of the BR Ambedkar University, Lucknow. He also served as member of board of governors of Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.
Kovind also represented India in United Nations (New York) and addressed the UN General Assembly in October, 2002.