NDA’s nominee Ram Nath Kovind has been elected as the India’s 14th president by defeating opposition candidate Meira Kumar. Kovind secured 65.6 per cent votes translating into 702,044 electoral college votes whereas Meira Kumar received 34.35 per cent (367,314 votes). 522 MPs voted for Kovind, while 225 parliamentarians voted for Meira Kumar. He will take oath on 25th July after the current President Pranab Mukherjee’s term ends on July 24. Kovind becomes the second Dalit leader after K.R Narayanan to become the Head of State and the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces. Kovind is a lawyer by profession and hails from Kanpur.
After graduating in law from a Kanpur college, Kovind had gone to Delhi to prepare for the Indian Administrative Services. He failed to clear the exams twice but achieved success in the third attempt. Kovind nonetheless, did not join as he was selected for the allied services and started practising the law. After working for more than 20 years as a government advocate in the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court, Kovind joined BJP in 1991.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Ram Nath Kovind and posted on twitter, “Congratulations to Shri Ram Nath Kovind Ji on being elected the President of India! Best wishes for a fruitful & inspiring tenure.”
He also congratulated Meira Kumar and said, “I also congratulate @meira_kumar Ji for her campaign, which was in spirit of the democratic ethos & values we all are proud of.”
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted, “Congratulations to Shri Ram Nath Kovind ji on his successful election as the President of India. I wish him success and a great future.”
BJP chief Amit Shah tweeted, “I am sure Shri Ram Nath Kovind ji will distinguish himself as an exceptional President of our nation.”
Union Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal posted, “Congrats to Shri Ram Nath Kovind on being elected as India’s 14th President. Your leadership will be invaluable towards building a new India.”
Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray tweeted, “Congratulations to the new President of India Shri Ramnath Kovind ji, on his election with such a thumping majority.”
Kovind made a foray into politics in 1994 when he became a member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh. He had served as an MP for two consecutive terms till 2006. He is married to Savita Kovind. The couple have a son named Prashant Kumar, and a daughter, Swati. Kovind had represented India in the United Nations in New York and addressed United Nations General Assembly in October 2002. He is a former President of the BJP Dalit Morcha (1998-2002) and President of the All-India Koli Samaj as well as the SC/ST representative at IIM-Calcutta.