Ram Nath Kovind was on Thursday declared elected as India’s 14th President polling 65.6% of the vote defeating the Opposition’s joint candidate, former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, who secured 34% of the vote.
Mr. Kovind will be the second Dalit President of India after late President K.R. Narayanan but, more significantly, the first from politically significant Uttar Pradesh and the first person from the BJP to hold the office of President since Independence.
Speaking to the press after returning officer for the poll, Anoop Mishra, declared him elected, Mr. Kovind said it was an “emotional moment” for him.
“I never dreamed of this position nor was it a goal. My election to this post is a message to all those who discharge their duties with honesty and integrity,” he said, promising to uphold the Constitution of India and follow the policy of Sarve Bhavantu Sukheenaha or peace and prosperity to all.
The voting for the poll had been held on Monday, and counting began in Parliament House on Thursday morning continuing up to early evening.
The total number of MPs and MLAs who cast their votes was 4851, bearing a combined value of 1090300. However, with 77 votes being declared invalid — 21 from Parliament alone — the total number of valid votes was 4774, bearing a combined value of 1069358. Mr. Kovind polled 2930 of these votes — bearing a value of 702044 — and Ms. Kumar 1844 votes — with a value of 367314.
Highest vote value
The value of each vote of an MP was 708. Among the States, each vote in Uttar Pradesh had the highest value of 208, while each vote from Sikkim had the lowest value of seven. Mr. Kovind got the highest number of votes – 335 – from U.P. and the lowest – just 1 – from Kerala.
Ms. Kumar secured the highest number of votes – 273 – from West Bengal and drew a blank in Andhra Pradesh.
The polling was marked by cross-voting in various States where many Opposition members favoured Mr. Kovind.
According to figures available, cross-voting took place in Gujarat, Tripura, Goa, Delhi and Maharashtra in favour of Mr. Kovind. As many as 11 Congress MLAs appeared to have voted for Mr. Kovind in Gujarat, a State which is to go for Assembly polls at the end of the year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first to wish the President-elect, tweeting out pictures taken 20 years ago at a wedding in Mr. Kovind’s family and a more recent one with Mr. Kovind and his family at the prime ministerial residence, 7, Lok Kalyan Marg. Mr. Modi also praised Ms. Kumar for her campaign which was in the “spirit of democratic ethos, and values” which “we are all very proud of.”
A general election is an election in which all or most members of a given political body are chosen. These are usually held for a nation's primary legislative body, as distinguished from by-elections and local elections.
In presidential systems, a general election is a regularly scheduled election where both the president, and either "a class" of or all members of the national legislature are elected at the same time but can also involve special elections held to fill prematurely vacated positions. A general election day may also include elections for local officials.
The term originates in the elections in the United Kingdom for the House of Commons.
Main article: Elections in India
The elections held to elect the members of the Lok Sabha after expiry of the Parliamentary Elections. Earlier up to 1957 simultaneous elections were held for both the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies. However, on account of early dismissal and mid-term elections the two
See also: Elections in the United Kingdom and United Kingdom general elections overview
The term general election in the United Kingdom often refers to the elections held on the same day in all constituencies of their Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons. Under the terms of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, the period between one general election and the next is fixed at 5 years, unless the Commons passes a motion of no confidence in the Government sooner than that, or if the House of Commons, with the support of at least two thirds of its members, resolves that a general election should take place sooner.
The term may also be used to refer to elections to any democratically elected body in which all of the members are up for election. Section 2 of the Scotland Act 1998, for example, specifically refers to ordinary elections to the Scottish Parliament as general elections.
Originally, British elections took place over a period of several weeks, with individual constituencies holding polling on separate days. The Parliament Act 1911 introduced the requirement that elections in all parliamentary constituencies be held on the same day. There has been a convention since the 1930s that general elections in Britain should take place on a Thursday; the last general election to take place on any other weekday was that of 1931.
The five-year limit on the time of a Parliament can be varied by an Act of Parliament implemented by several bodies. This was done during both World Wars; the Parliament elected in December 1910 was prolonged to November 1918, and that elected in November 1935 lasted until June 1945. The House of Lords has an absolute veto on any Bill to extend the life of Parliament.
Main article: Elections in the United States
In U.S. politics, general elections are elections held at any level (e.g. city, county, congressional district, state) that involve competition between at least two parties. General elections occur every two to six years (depending on the positions being filled with most positions good for four years) and include the presidential election, but unlike parliamentary systems the term can also refer to special elections that fill out positions prematurely vacated by the previous office holder (e.g. through death, resignation, etc.). Some parallels can be drawn between the general election in parliamentary systems and the biennial elections determining all House seats, although there is no analogue to "calling early elections" in the U.S., and the members of the elected U.S. Senate face elections of only one-third at a time at two-year intervals including during a general election.
Unlike parliamentary systems where the term is distinguished from by-elections, a general election in the US is used in reference to and distinguished from primaries or caucuses, which are intra-party elections meant to select a party's official candidate for a particular race.
In the State of Louisiana the expression general election means the runoff election which occurs between the two highest candidates as determined by the jungle primary.