The newly elected President of India Pranab Mukherjee thanked the people for their overwhelming support and affection to give him the highest office. He defeated his rival PA Sangma with 69.31 per cent votes.
Soon after he was declared the new President, Pranab said that it is his duty to defend and the Constitution of India.
"I have deep gratitude and appreciation for the people of this great country for conferring this distinction of electing me to the high office," Pranab told reporters in the national capital.
"It would now be my responsibility to defend and protect the Constitution as President ... I would try to justify in modest way to be trustworthy of my people," he said.
A total of 713,937 votes were in favour of Pranab out of the total 10,29,924 votes, while his opponent Sangma had 315,987 votes or 30.69 per cent of the total votes.
He said that during his campaign for the presidential election he visited all the state capitals. He could feel the overwhelming support and affection of ordinary people, which made his tour remarkable.
He also thanked all sections of society, the political parties and parliamentarians for the support during his more than four decades of public life. "I have received much more from the country, its political establishment and Parliament than what I have given", he said.
Meanwhile, his opponent Sangma, who was defeated in the poll, congratulated him for his victory. However, he did not rule out moving court on the election, saying its process was "exceptionally partisan". He alleged that non-UPA ruled states were lured with packages and inducements and even given threats.
He said there is a compelling need for formulating an election code of conduct for the Presidential and Vice Presidential polls, as such a code did not exist. A code will ensure free and fair elections, he said.’
"The process in this Presidential election has been exceptionally partisan and political. The public perception is certainly that in identification and projection of its candidate, UPA did not genuinely build consensus and that it pursuaded political parties commanding major sections of the Presidential electoral college by economic and other packages...as well as inducements, threats and promises," Sangma told reporters.’
He alleged that the spirit of secrecy of ballot was "thrown to the wind".
Sangma, who was backed by BJP, AIADMK and BJD, trailed far behind with 3,15,987 vote value in the polling, which witnessed cross-voting against him by BJP MLAs in Karnataka in favour of Pranab.