NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind elected 14th President of India
Ram Nath Kovind has been elected the new President of India as he secured victory over opposition candidate Meira Kumar to become the 14th President of the country.
Announcing the results, Lok Sabha Secretary General and returning officer Anoop Mishra told media in New Delhi that Mr Kovind got 2930 votes valued 7,02,044 and Meira Kumar got 1844 votes valued 3,67,314.
Addressing media after his victory at his residence in Delhi, President elect Ramnath Kovind said his elevation to the highest office is a message for the people who work with honesty. He said he will represent the working class and poor sections of the society in the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
He thanked every one who supported him including opposition candidate Meira Kumar.
Opposition candidate Meira Kumar extended her best wished to Mr Kovind saying as it has fallen upon him to uphold Constitution in letter and spirit in these challenging times. She said her fight for secularism, the oppressed and the marginalised will continue.
Our correspondent reports Mr Ram Nath Kovind has become the first BJP member and the second Dalit to be elected to Rashtrapati Bhavan after K R Narayanan.
President Pranab Mukherjee congratulated Ram Nath Kovind on being elected President of India.
Mr. Mukherjee in a tweet said, 'heartiest congratulations and best wishes to Mr Ram Nath Kovind on being elected as the 14th President of India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Mr Ram Nath Kovind.
In a series of tweets, Mr Modi extended his best wishes to the President designate for a fruitful and inspiring tenure. The Prime Minister expressed happiness on the extensive support for Mr Kovind among MPs and across various states.
Mr Modi also thanked the members of the electoral college. He also congratulated Ms Meira Kumar for her campaign, saying that it was in spirit of the democratic ethos and values India is proud of. Mr Modi also shared a 20 year old picture of Mr Kovind with him on social media.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani has also congratulated Mr. Ram Nath Kovind
In a tweet, Ms Irani said, Mr Kovind's rich experience in public life will enrich the office of President of India.
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has also congratulated Mr. Kovind.
In a tweet, Mr Rathore said, Mr Kovind is a leader and thinker respected by one and all. Mr Rathore wished him for a productive tenure.
Among those who congratulated Mr. Kovind were Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, a
host of chief ministers and other politicians.
Soon after the results were declared, the president-elect met with Mr. Modi and BJP President Amit Shah.
A total of 77 votes were declared invalid during counting for the presidential election and the list of rejected ballots was topped by parliamentarians.
According to data provided by the returning officer, a total of 77 votes were found to be invalid. Twenty one votes cast by members of parliament were among the votes found invalid. Ten votes from West Bengal assembly, six from Delhi, four each from Manipur and Jharkhand and two from UP were also found to be invalid.
The total value of invalid votes comes at 20,942. If a voter fails to mark the first reference, or marks the preference in a fashion other than the one prescribed by the Election Commission, the vote is considered as invalid.
In this election, the EC had made it mandatory to use a special marker pen to mark vote. The votes marked with ordinary pens were liable to be rejected during counting.
NDA candidate Ramnath Kovind secured highest 400 votes in Uttar Pradesh and lowest one in Kerala.
Opposition nominee Meira Kumar got no vote in Andhra Pradesh and highest 273 in West Bengal.