Pranab Mukherjee was on Wednesday sworn in the 13th President of India
. He was elected after he defeated P. A. Sangma in a contest that ended on expected lines. The veteran leader rode on the massive support from across the political spectrum to register an emphatic victory.
"I have got much more in return than I have given. I thank everyone who voted for me. I hope to do the job now entrusted to me - to defend and preserve the Constitution," Mukherjee said soon after it became clear that he would become the next President of the country.
The Congress veteran
, with a political career spanning over 40 years, trounced Sangma - backed by the BJP, AIADMK and BJD - by 1,612 votes.
Mukherjee's victory was a foregone conclusion as all major political parties had announced their support for his candidature, including the BJP's NDA partners the Janata Dal (United) and the Shiv Sena.
Not only was the NDA divided, the contest also saw the UPA falling apart with the Trinamool Congress first opposing Mukherjee's candidature only to support him later.With agency inputs