In his first address inside the Central Hall of Parliament, Kovind said, “We need to sculpt a robust, high growth economy, an educated, ethical and shared community, and an egalitarian society, as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and Deendayal Upadhyaya ji (the Jana Sangh leader)”.
"The president is the conscience keeper of the Constitution of India," the Congress chief said conveying her best wishes to Kovind. Gandhi also reiterated the Congress party's commitment to work for upholding these cherished values and established conventions which are the "intrinsic cornerstone of our Constitution".
The former Lok Sabha speaker drew a blank in once-a-Congress bastion Andhra Pradesh, while in Left-ruled Kerala Kovind got just one vote. In the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh, which has the highest value of votes, Kovind received 335 votes against Kumar's 65.
Ram Nath Kovind polled 7,02,044 votes out of 10,90,300 in the Electoral College, while his rival Meira Kumar, the joint opposition candidate, secured 3,67,314 votes. However, the victory margin is the lowest since the 1974 presidential poll
Ram Nath Kovind will be the second Dalit to become the President of the country. The returning officer, Anoop Mishra, said that Kovind received 2930 votes with a value of 702044. He will be the first BJP member to be elected as the President.
Cross-voting by Congress MLAs, reflected the disunity in the party which may imperil the chances of senior Congress leader and party president Sonia Gandhi's political advisor Ahmed Patel who is seeking another Rajya Sabha term from Gujarat election for which is scheduled.
Presidential election results LIVE updates: At the end of counting on Thursday, Ram Nath Kovind had received over 7 lakh votes indicating about 65 per cent of the votes cast while Meira Kumar lagged far behind with just 3.6 lakh votes.
Ram Nath Kovind received over 7 lakh votes indicating about 65 per cent of the votes cast while Meira Kumar lagged far behind with just 3.6 lakh votes. The former governor of Bihar, Ram Nath Kovind will be sworn in on July 25 as the 14th President of India.
"Want to make it very clear that today on 20th July 2017 my battle for ideology doesn't end, it will continue. My fight for secularism, the oppressed & the marginalised continues.I thank all my well wishers for their support and good wishes," she said.
BJP spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao said there were many to say that it was indeed an ideological contest with the NDA's "merit-based" selection pitted against the dynasty promoted by the Congress-led alliance.