New Delhi: After winning presidential polls 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday thanked the Electoral College for his massive win over opposition candidate Meira Kumar. He started off his address thanking Meira Kumar, and then went on to say that winning the election marks an emotional moment in his life.
Kovind, in his ceremonial speech, said: “I thank all those who supported me from across the country: Ram Nath Kovind.”
“I feel very emotional today and I will represent all those struggling to make a living,” Kovind said, adding that he had never aspired to be president.
“My win is a message to those discharging their duties with integrity. My election as the president is evidence of the greatness of Indian democracy.”
Ram Nath Kovind, the NDA candidate, was elected India's new president on Thursday after receiving an overwhelming majority of votes from the country's lawmakers. Kovind defeated opposition's Meira Kumar, a former Lok Sabha speaker, garnering more than 65 percent of the votes in the Electoral College, the Returning Officer for the poll said.
The 71-year old, who will be the second Dalit to hold the top constitutional position, received 2930 votes with a value of 702044, the returning officer, Anoop Mishra, said. Kovind will be the first BJP member to be elected president.
"I thank all those who supported me from across the country. I feel very emotional today and I will represent all those struggling to make a living," Kovind said after winning the largely ceremonial position with more than 65 percent of the vote by members of Indian Parliament and state assemblies.
The former Governor of Bihar was a masterstroke decision by the NDA considering that while Kovind has good credentials, he is also a Dalit candidate and his win would make him the second Dalit President of India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Ram Nath Kovind on being elected as the President and expressed happiness over the "extensive" support.
"Congratulations to Shri Ram Nath Kovind Ji on being elected the President of India! Best wishes for a fruitful and inspiring tenure," PM Modi wrote on Twitter.