Pranab Mukherjee has been elected as the 13th President of the country, marking a new journey for the veteran Congress leader after over four decades of life in active politics.
Mukherjee, UPA nominee, got 5,64,469 votes, well beyond the half-way mark of 5,25,140 in an electoral college of over 10.5 lakh when counting of votes polled by the MPs and MLAs of 20 out of the 30 states was completed.
His rival P A Sangma, who was backed by BJP and other opposition parties like AIADMK and BJD, could manage only 2,57,466 vote value, according to Rajya Sabha secretary general VK Agnihotri, who is the returning officer for the poll.
Mukherjee, 76-year-old Congress leader, brings to the top constitutional post a wealth of experience as he has held key positions in the party and government, including holding the portfolios of finance, defence and external affairs.
He established a clear lead right from the beginning when counting of votes of MPs completed and maintained it across the states, except the BJP-ruled ones. However,he sprang a surprise in BJP-ruled Karnataka where he got the votes of 117 MLAs against BJP's 103 in the 224-member Assembly.
Out of 748 MPs, who had voted, he secured 527 votes with a value of 3, 73,116 against 206 for Sangma which has a value of 1, 45,848.
Fifteen votes including that of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav were invalid. Of these, nine were to be in favour of Mukherjee while six for Sangma.
The voting for Presidential election took place on July 19. Mukerjee will be sworn in as the president on 25th July at 11:30 am.