Ram Nath Kovind was the nominee by the NDA had been elected as the country’s new president. He was the clear favorite for the largely ceremonial post, which has decided by 4,800 lawmakers across the country.
Unexpectedly, there was cross voting in several states which helped Kovind to secure 65.6 per cent of the votes from an electoral college drawn from more than 4,000 members of 31 legislative assemblies across the country and 776 members of Parliament. While UPA’s nominee Meira Kumar managed to get 34.35 per cent.
After his victory is announced, Kovind said he was conscious of the great duties of his post, adding that “it was a very emotional moment” for him, never thought that I would become president. It was never my goal; he said this election is a “symbol of the greatness of Indian democracy.”
The former governor of Bihar, Kovind (71), will be India’s second Dalit President after RK Narayanan since Freedom to occupy India’s highest ceremonial post. The first, who served from 1997 to 2002, was K.R. Narayanan, a skilled diplomat who spoke Chinese and became India’s first ambassador to Beijing, and later Washington.
While the president is the head of the state, executive powers are vested in the prime minister, and his ministers to executive power, but the president sometimes plays a part such as deciding which party should form a govt if a general election is inconclusive under India’s Constitution.
Outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee, who completes his five-year term on July 24 will succeed by Kovind as India’s 14th President by taking oath next day.