Ram Nath Kovind, the BJP-backed candidate has won the Presidential elections of India against opposition Congress-led UPA nominee Meira Kumar. After final round of counting, Kovind got 7,02,044 votes out of a total of 10,69,358. His opponent and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar won 3,67,314 votes.
The contest, between the ruling NDA's Ram Nath Kovind and the opposition's Meira Kumar, both Dalits, saw nearly 99 per cent lawmakers and legislators cast their vote - the highest ever. Kovind is the 14th President of India and once sworn in, he will be the second Dalit President of India after KR Narayanan since the country's independence.
1994, the Dalit leader first stepped into politics when he was elected as a Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh. He served for two consecutive terms for 12 years till March, 2006. Kovind has also represented India in the United Nations in New York and addressed United Nations General Assembly in October, 2002. As a member of Parliament, Kovind visited Singapore, Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Germany, Switzerland, France, United Kingdom and the USA.
In his long standing political career, Kovind also served as the governor of Bihar, a state in East India. He has also served as a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Welfare of Scheduled Castes/Tribes and Social Justice and Empowerment among others.
Apart from these, Kovind also had a career in law that spans over 16 years. As a part fo his profession, he took the lead in providing free legal aid to weaker sections, especially the SC/ST women, and poor and needy girls under the aegis of the Free Legal Aid Society in Delhi.
Kovind also served as a member of the Board of Management of Dr. B.R Ambedkar University, Lucknow. He was also a member of the Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata.
According to reports, President Pranab Mukherjee's term will be ending on July 24 and Kovind will take oath the next day to become the next President of India. In the last Presidential election held in 2012, Pranab Mukherjee had defeated PA Sangma by over 69 per cent votes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Kovind for his win at the Presidential polls 2017.