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Bangladesh president, PM congratulate Indian President-elect Ram Nath

The former governor of Bihar secured a massive margin over his United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rival Meira Kumar in a straight fight. Of the votes of MPs, Kovind got 522 compared to 225 by Meira Kumar.

Hours after Ram Nath Kovind won the presidential elections by securing over two-thirds of the total electoral college votes, the politician and Chief Minister of various states extended their good wishes for the 14th President of India.

"I congratulate Shri Ram Nath Kovindji for becoming the President of India". Kovind was also helped by some cross voting in his favour in states like Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Delhi and Maharashtra.

Extending her best wishes to Kovind, Sonia Gandhi, in a statement, said: "The President of India enjoys a unique position as defender and protector of the Constitution, upholder of democratic traditions and as supreme commander of the Indian armed forces".

PM Modi, who nominated Kovind as his personal choice, taking all aback, was the first to welcome his election.

Both the treasury benches and the Opposition parties have termed the presidential election as a mature election in which no personal attacks were made on either of the candidates.

A relatively unknown political operator and member of India's lowest Dalit caste has been elected as the country's 14th president. The BJP, the Shiv Sena and some smaller parties that assured their support to the NDA candidate constituted 195 MLAs, but Kovind ended up with 208 votes. BJP managers said they had gained 10 excess votes in Bengal even as the Trinamool Congress and the Congress traded claims of cross-voting from each other's camps.

The NCP had backed Meira Kumar.

Reacting to the instances of cross-voting, Bhupender Yadav took a dig at Meira Kumar for her appeal to the electoral college for a "conscience vote". Kovind clinched the votes of 11 MLAs in the State, five more than NDA's tally of six. Though defeated, she scored the second highest value of votes for an Opposition candidate.

It was, however, not clear whether any of the surplus votes came from the BJP, which has 161 MLAs.

While Kovind's victory was a foregone conclusion, given the NDA's strength in Parliament and across state legislatures, Opposition parties received a major setback, as results proved how some of their legislators had gone against their own parties. Significantly, the voting was held on July 17 for the presidential election.



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