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.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Ram Nath Kovind and thanked the members of the electoral college.
Gladdened by the extensive support for Shri Ram Nath Kovind Ji among MPs & across various states. I thank members of the electoral college.
- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 20, 2017
Prime Minister also posted a 20-year-old picture of him with Ram Nath Kovind.
8:08 pm: "I neither thought I would be elected to this post, nor was this my aim. But my everlasting spirit to serve the society and my country has brought me here," President-designate Ram Nath Kovind says in his acceptance speech.
20 years ago and the present…always been a privilege to know you, President Elect. pic.twitter.com/IkhnOtYf8N- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 20, 2017
7:15 pm: Union Minister for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman calls on President-designate Ram Nath Kovind to congratulate him
5:50 pm: BJP veteran L K Advani Congratulated President-elect Ram Nath Kovind on his victory.
5:15 pm: My best wishes with Sh. Kovindji as it has fallen upon him to uphold Constitution in letter&spirit in these challenging times: Meira Kumar
5:10 pm: I will represent the working class and poor sections of the society in the Rashtrapati Bhavan: President-designate Kovind
5:05 pm: This huge responsibility is a message to everyone who works hard for the nation: President-designate Kovind
5:00 pm: Ram Nath Kovind thanked and congratulated opposition candidate Meira Kumar.
4:55 pm: I am overwhelmed by the support. This is an emotional moment for me today, Kovind said.
4:50 pm: Never dreamt I would be President, says President designate Ram Nath Kovind
4:49 pm: President elect Ram Nath Kovind addresses media at his house in Delhi
4:35 pm: The swearing in ceremony for India's next President will be on July 25.
4:10 pm: Ram Nath Kovind will be the next President of India.
4:07 pm: Ram Nath Kovind secured 2930 votes with value of 7,02,044; Meira Kumar got 1,844 votes with the value of 3,67,314; 77 invalid: Returning officer Anoop Mishra
4:05 pm: Ram Nath Kovind sweeps polls by 65.65 percent votes (7,02,644 votes). Meira Kumar gets 3,67,314 votes
3:29 pm: Ram Nath Kovind gets 1,389 votes (number of MLAs, MPs) with value of 4,79,585. Meira Kumar gets 576 votes with value of 2,04,594 after counting in Parliament House and 11 states.
3:15 pm: Himachal is the only state where Meira Kumar has won.
2:41 pm: I am not upset, why should I be upset? I am a fighter, I fought for the belief and faith of majority of my countrymen and women: Meira Kumar
2:37 pm: Kovind takes massive lead with over 4.5 lakh votes. Meira Kumar has around two lakh votes. The NDA nominee needs 5,49,442 votes to win.
02:00 pm: NDA's Ram Nath Kovind gets 60,683 votes, Opposition's Meira Kumar gets 22,941 votes in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, says Returning Officer Anoop Mishra
01:50 pm: Meira Kumar trails by 40,000 votes
01:48 pm: NDA's Ram Nath Kovind is leading with 60,683 votes, UPA's Meira Kumar at 22,941, according to news agency ANI
01:00 pm: Results from 4 states have come in, Ram Nath Govind takes big lead
12:00 pm: There was no electronic voting for the presidential elections which took place on Monday. Almost 99 per cent of MLAs and MPs in India had manually cast their votes. President Pranab Mukherjee's presidency will expire in the next five days on July 25.
11:30 am: The little known Ram Nath Kovind looks set to become the 14th President of India as he continues to take the lead against former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar in the presidential elections.
11:15 am: As the counting began, Meira Kumar said she believed in her ideology."Great belief in ideology I fought for, also believe in inner voice of conscience lets see how much it prevails," she said.
11:00 am: Counting begins!
- The votes will be counted on four separate tables and there would be eight rounds of counting, an Election Commission official said. Counting will be held under the supervision of the Lok Sabha secretary general Anoop Mishra, who is also the Returning Officer.
- Close to 99 per cent voting was recorded for electing India's next president.
- Thirty two polling stations including the one in Parliament house, were set up in various states.
- A total of 4,896 voters - 4,120 MLAs and 776 elected MPs - were eligible to cast their ballot. MLCs of states with legislative council are not part of the electoral college.
- While the value of an MLA's vote depends on the population of the state he or she belongs to, the value of an MP's vote remains the same at 708.
- The presidential poll on Monday saw nearly 99 per cent voting, the highest ever, the returning officer said. 32 polling stations including the one in Parliament House, were set up in various states.
Here's what you should know about the Ram Nath Kovind
1. Born on October 1, 1945, in Uttar Pradesh's Kanpur Dehat, Ram Nath Kovind was the youngest among three brothers. He completed his primary and pre-middle school education from Khanpur in Sandalpur block. He passed intermediate examination from Kanpur and Bachelor of Commerce from DAV College. He became a law graduate from DAV Law College, Kanpur.
2. Thereafter, Kovind moved to Delhi to prepare for civil services examination. He cleared the coveted exams in his third attempt. However, he turned down the job offer as he was selected in the allied services.
3. A lawyer by profession, he practised as an advocate for the Centre in Delhi HC from 1977-79. He was a permanent advocate for the Centre in the SC from 1980-93.
4. After the formation of Janata Party government in 1977, he became private secretary to then PM Morarji Desai. He also worked as a junior counsellor for the Janata Party government in the Supreme Court.
5. BJP fielded him as a Lok Sabha candidate from Ghatampur in UP in 1990. He lost the election.
6. In 2007, BJP gave him a ticket for UP Assembly election from Bhognipur. He lost that election too.
7. Kovind was a Rajya Sabha member from 1994-2006 from UP. A Dalit, he was member of the Parliamentary committees for SC/ST welfare, Home ministry, petroleum and natural gas, social justice, and law and justice. He was also the chairman of Rajya Sabha Housing Committee.
8. Kovind was a member of management board for Dr BR Ambedkar University, Lucknow, and Board of Governors, Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.
9. He represented India at United Nations in New York and addressed the General Assembly in October 2002.
10. He was the BJP's Scheduled Caste cell president from 1998-2002. He was also the party's national spokesperson and a member of the BJP's National Executive Committee (NEC) as a permanent invitee.