NDA's Ram Nath Kovind elected new President

NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind was elected as the next President of India, with 522 of the 771 elected Members of Parliament voting in his favour and opposition candidate Meira Kumar receiving the backing of 225 MPs, after counting of voted ended in New Delhi in the evening today.

Kovind becomes the second Dalit leader and the first politician linked to the RSS to become President of India.

He received 65.65 per cent votes from lawmakers across the country, beating his opponent, Meira Kumar, former Lok Sabha speaker and Congress Party leader and also a Dalit, by a big margin.

After counting of votes from Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand, Kovind has so far bagged 1,389 votes (with a value of 4,79,585). Opposition nominee Meira Kumar, on the other hand, received 576 votes (with a value of 2,04,594).

Returning officer Anoop Mishra announced that Kovind got the votes of 522 MPs (3,69,576 vote value), while Kumar managed 225 votes (1,59,300 vote value) of members of Parliament.

Close to 99 per cent voting was recorded in the Presidential elections.

Polling was conducted in 32 polling stations, including the one in Parliament house, across the country. A total of 4,109 MLAs and 771 elected MPs were eligible to cast their ballot. While 4,083 MLAs voted, 768 MPs exercised their franchise.

The total value of votes for MPs stands at 5,49,408, while for MLAs, the total vote value is 5,49,495. The total vote value is 10,98,903. A candidate needs 50 per cent plus one vote to win the presidential poll. The half way mark is 5,49,452, but the actual halfway mark will be decided by the total number of valid votes polled.

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.

State-wise votes received by the two candidates: In Andhra Pradesh, Kovind got 171 votes (27,189 vote value) while Kumar got nil votes. Three votes were declared invalid.

Only a few months ago Ram Nath Kovind and his family were denied entry to the Retreat Residence of the President of India in Shimla. Kovind, who was the governor of Bihar at the time, was told to seek permission from the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

He quietly withdraw from the scene only to return as President and enter Rashtrapati Bhavan instead.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Ram Nath Kovind on being elected President of India.

''Congratulations to Shri Ram Nath Kovind Ji on being elected the President of India! Best wishes for a fruitful & inspiring tenure.

''Gladdened by the extensive support for Shri Ram Nath Kovind Ji among MPs & across various states. I thank members of the electoral college,'' he said