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Monday, Jan 20, 2020

From the archives of the Hindustan Times: August 21

Mr Varahagiri Venkata Giri was today (August 20) declared elected fourth President of India.

chronicles Updated: Aug 21, 2019 10:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Giri back in Rashtrapati Bhavan (1969)

New Delhi- In the most sensational Presidential contest Republican India has yet witnessed, Mr Varahagiri Venkata Giri was today (August 20) declared elected fourth President of India, defeating Mr N. Sanjiva Reddy.

On Sunday, August 24, he will return to Rashtrapati Bhavan from which he had walked out after resigning the office of acting President when he decided to contest the election.

Mr Giri was declared elected at 10-32 p.m. after a suspense-packed two hours when the returning officer had to count the second preference votes.

The final voting tally was: Mr Giri 4,20,077 and Mr Sanjiva Reddy 4,05,427. Neither had, on the first count, the required number of 50 per cent plus one votes. When all the ballot boxes of the State Assemblies and of Parliament had been counted, Mr Giri was leading the official Congress candidate by 87,967 votes. (Mr Giri 4,01,515, Mr Reddy 3,13,548 and Mr C. D. Deshmukh 1,12,769).

In the second count which ended shortly after 10-15 p.m. Mr Giri made up the small deficit to romp home the winner by 14,650 votes, leaving a large field of contenders way behind.

Ahmed elected President (1974)


New Delhi- The Congress candidate, Mr Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, was today (August 20) declared elected fifth President of the Republic defeating the opposition candidate, Mr Tridib Kumar Chaudhuri, by a margin of 5,76,391 votes.

In a straight contest, he secured 80.2 per cent of the total 9,54,783 valid votes polled as against 19.8 per cent polled by Mr Chaudhuri who, however, managed to save his security deposit.

The voting figures showed that Mr Ahmed secured not only his party’s votes but also those of several regional parties, including the DMK, and many independents.

It was a landslide victory for Mr Ahmed in Parliament as well as in the States, except Kerala, where Mr Chaudhuri polled more votes because two constituents of the ruling United Front-the CPI and Muslim League-had abstained from voting. However, Mr Chaudhuri did not secure a single vote from Nagaland, Meghalaya and Manipur where all the legislators unanimously backed Mr Ahmed.

In Parliament, out of the total 4,93,809 valid votes polled, Mr Ahmed got 3,98,373 or 80.5 per cent and Mr Chaudhuri 95,436 or 19.5 per cent. In the States, Mr Ahmed’s score was 3,67,214, or 79.7 per cent of the total 4,60,974 valid votes, while Mr Chaudhuri got 93,760, or 20.3 per cent.

Mr Chaudhuri was the first to congratulate Mr Ahmed over the phone and convey his “sincere felicitations.” He told newsmen that he had tried to keep the contest “on the level of principles and not personalities.”

In a message, the President-elect called for unity among people and their whole-hearted co-operation to the Government in overcoming the current economic difficulties. Thousands of supporters and admirers, including Mrs Gandhi and her Cabinet colleagues congratulated Mr Ahmed on his brilliant victory.

Lords of the ring (2008)

Beijing- Two Indians, one destiny. Their fate intertwined in one moment of glory —a medal moment — sparked wild jubilation in a billion hearts. Finally, we did it. After 56 years we have more than two medals next to India’s name. Who knows, by the end of the Games we might have more than just two bronze and a gold!

The Beijing Games will forever be remembered for India’s greatest display in the world’s greatest event. It was maddening here. The moment boxer Vijender Kumar added another medal to India’s two, after Sushil Kumar won the bronze in the 66-kg freestyle wrestling here on Wednesday (August 20) evening, the Workers’ Stadium erupted in joy. The Tricolour was fluttering all around and for a moment, the handful came to watch Jitender and Vijender fight, couldn’t conceal their joy. “Proud of being an Indian,” yelled one from the crowd.

In Najafgarh on the outskirts of Delhi, the fireworks were reminiscent of the time another local hero, Virender Sehwag, scored a triple ton. Neighbours converged at the Kumars’ home to congratulate Sushil’s father Diwan Singh.

In neighbouring Bhiwani, Vijender’s parents Mahipal and Krishna Beniwal offered prayers in the Kalwash village temple , surrounded by well-wishers.