On Thursday, NDA nominee Droupadi Murmu became the first tribal woman to be elected as the President of India beating opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha by a large margin. Murmu, a former Governor of Jharkhand, surpassed the 50 percent mark of total valid votes at the end of the third round of counting.
64-year-old Murmu became the first person belonging to a scheduled tribe to be nominated for the top constitutional post of this country. Apart from being the first tribal president, Murmu is also the second female after Pratibha Patil. She succeeds Ram Nath Kovind as the 15th President of Indi and will be sworn in on July 25, a day after Kovind's tenure at the Rashtrapati Bhavan ends.
Reports mentioned that celebrations broke out at Murmu's ancestral village in Odisha even as the counting was underway with children at the Pahadpur residential school run by Murmu joining in.
Murmu's victory was certain since the NDA and its allies command a majority in the Parliament. After the first round of counting, Murmu had secured 540 votes, with Sinha bagging 208. After the 2nd round, where the ballot paper of the first 10 states was alphabetically counted, the total number of valid votes was 1138, and their total value 1,49,575. Out of this, Droupadi Murmu gets 809 votes valued at 1,05,299 & Yashwant Sinha gets 329 votes valued at 44,276, Rajya Sabha Secretary General PC Mody said.
"If I include the earlier results of Parliament, the grand total so far is 1,886 valid votes valued at 6,73,175 out of which Droupadi Murmu gets 1,349 votes valued at 4,83,299. Yashwant Sinha gets 537 votes, valued at 1,89,876 so far," Mody, added.
On July 18, elected lawmakers—MLAs and MPs—across the country voted for Kovind's successor between 10 am and 5 pm. Elected representatives of the Legislative Assemblies of the States and Union Territories with Legislative Assemblies—like Delhi and Pondicherry—also voted.
According to the Election Commission (EC) of India, almost 99 percent of a total of 4796—771 MPs and 4,025 MLAs—voters cast their ballot. The EC recorded 100 percent voting in 11 states and union territories, while the total turnout at Parliament House in the national capital was 98.91 percent.
Mody, also the Chief Returning Officer for the presidential poll, oversaw the counting of all the votes today.
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