New Delhi, Jul 22: Pranab Mukherjee was today elected the next President trouncing P A Sangma by a huge margin to embark on a new journey capping over four decades of active political innings.
In a virtually one-side election that saw divisions in the opposition NDA, the 76-year-old UPA nominee Mukherjee secured a vote value of 7,13,763, garnering 69.3 per cent of the total 10,29,750 valid votes polled.
Rival P A Sangma, who was backed by BJP and some other opposition parties like AIADMK and BJD, trailed far behind with 3,15,987 vote value in the polling that saw heavy cross-voting against him by BJP MLAs in Karnataka in favour of Mukherjee.
“I declare that Shri Pranab Mukherjee has been duly elected to the office of President of India,” Returning Officer and Rajya Sabha Secretary General V K Agnihotri after more than seven-hours of counting that went on expected lines.
A veteran of politics and art of governance, Mukherjee brings a wealth of experience to the top Constitutional office having held various key positions in the party and government at the Centre.
Troubleshooter for the UPA till recently, Mukherjee will be sworn-in as the 13th President on July 25.
In brief comments after being elected, Mukherjee pledged to “protect, defend and preserve” the Constitution. “I will try to justify in a modest way as I can to be trustworthy.”
He said he was overwhelmed by the support he got from people, not limited to the electoral college comprising MPs and MLAs. “I have received much more from the country, its political establishment and Parliament than what I have given.”
Congratulations poured from all over with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and senior Ministers making a beeline to his 13, Talkatora Road residence to greet him.
Vice President Hamid Ansari called him to congratulate.
In the states too, Mukherjee established a clear lead except in BJP-ruled states. But the ruling BJP suffered a humiliation in Karnataka when Mukherjee got 117 votes against BJP's 103 in the 224-member Assembly.
In Kerala it was a clean sweep for Mukherjee as won all the 124 votes polled while one was invalid. Sangma drew a blank. CPI and RSP members abstained from voting which has a 140 member Assembly.
In Andhra Pradesh, which has a 294-member Assembly, Mukherjee got the support of 182 MLAs including that of Congress and YSR Congress while Sangma got the backing of three. Five were invalid.
In terms of vote value, Mukherjee got 26936 while Sangma 444. A total of 190 MLAs voted because TDP and TRS abstained. Each MLA in Andhra Pradesh has a vote value of 148.
Mukherjee kept up his lead even in Arunachal Pradesh, where he got 54 of the 59 votes polled. The vote value corresponded to 432 for Mukherjee, while it was 16 for Sangma. Three votes were invalid.
In the 126-member Assam Assembly, Mukherjee got 110 votes while Sangma got 13. Two votes were invalid while one did not vote. In terms of vote value, Mukherjee got 12,760 while Sangma got 1,508.
In Bihar too, where the ruling JD(U) has declared support for Mukherjee, the UPA candidate got 146 out of the 240 votes polled in the 243 member Assembly. Sangma got 90, mostly from BJP, which shares power with JD(U).
Mukherjee's vote value in in the state was 25,258 while for Sangma it was 15,570. Three votes were invalid while one did not not vote.
In the 90-member Assembly Chhattisgarh which is ruled by BJP, 39 votes went to Mukherjee while Sangma got 50. One vote was invalid. In terms of vote value, Mukherjee got 5,031 while Sangma got 6,450.
Mukherjee got 59 votes and Sangma 123 votes in 182-member Gujarat Assembly where BJP has the majority. In terms of vote value, Mukherjee got 8673 while Sangma got 18,081.
In 81-member Jharkhand Assembly, Mukherjee got 60 votes while Sangma won 20. Mukherjee's vote value is 10560 while Sangma's stands at 3520.