Kovind is Prez

Former Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind will become India's 14th President and the first RSS man to hold the constitutional post, winning a contest marked by cross-voting in his favour in West Bengal, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa as well as among Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha members.
Kovind, who will be sworn in as President on July 25, defeated the opposition candidate, former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, in a one-sided contest by garnering close to 66% of the vote. BJP managers estimated that Kovind received around 115 additional MLA votes beyond the NDA kitty in states.

BJP succeeded in pulling in votes from the opposition camp in four states as well as in Parliament. 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.

BJP read the results as a vindication of its efforts to build pan-India support for Kovind and saw the gains as an indicator of the party's ability to build coalitions.

The 71-year-old Kovind will be only the second Dalit President of India after K R Narayanan. He will also be the first BJP leader to be elected to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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