With 65.65 percent of votes, NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind sweeps Presidential poll

NEW DELHI: The NDA’s candidate for President, Ram Nath Kovind , will become India’s 14th President, having obtained 65.65 percent of votes from the electoral college.

His opponent, the joint Opposition candidate Meira Kumar, lags far behind with a mere 34.35 percent.

Congratulate Ram Nath Kovind

“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 PM also congratulated Opposition candidate Kumar for her “democratic values”.

 

71-year-old Kovind got the votes of 522 Members of Parliament while Kumar bagged the votes of 225 MPs. As many 771 elected MPs were eligible to cast their ballot.

BJP president Amit Shah called Kovind’s win “historic”.

“Congratulations to Shri Ram Nath Kovind ji for emphatic victory in the 2017 Presidential elections. His victory is truly historic,” Shah said.

The NDA candidate’s victory against Kumar was a foregone conclusion because almost 40 parties, including many from outside the NDA fold, pledged to support him. From the get-go, Kovind was expected to win more than 60 percent of the votes.

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.

Voting for the Presidential election was held on Monday. Counting began Thursday at 11 am.

The presidential election saw close to 100 percent polling. A total of 771 members of Parliament and 4,109 legislators were eligible to cast votes.

Both Kovind and Kumar are from the Dalit community and canvassed hard by visiting states to seek support of legislators.

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 was enrolled as an advocate in 1971 with the Bar Council of Delhi. He became the Advocate-on-Record of the Supreme Court in 1978 and practised in Delhi High Court and Supreme Court for about 16 years till 1993.

He was appointed as the Governor of Bihar on August 8, 2015. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh during the two terms of 1994-2000 and 2000-2006.

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.
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