Eminent missile technologist A P J Abdul Kalam was on Thursday elected India's 11th President in a highly one-sided contest in which he trounced the Left-backed Colonel Lakshmi Sehgal bagging nearly 90 per cent vote value in a preferential system of election.
The 71-year-old Kalam, born in a boatman's family in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, got 4,152 votes with a vote value of 9,22,884, against Sehgal's 459 votes accounting for 1,07,366 votes value in a race in what was heavily loaded against her with the entire political spectrum supporting Kalam.
Kalam will succeed K R Narayanan, the first dalit President, whose term expires on July 24.
The President elect will be sworn in at the Central Hall of Parliament the next day. Of the 4,785 MPs and MLAs who voted, 174 votes were found invalid. After a three-hour counting of votes, Kalam's election was announced by Rajya Sabha Secretary General R C Tripathi, who is also the Returning Officer.
After declaring the results at a press conference in New Delhi, Tripathi handed over a copy of the notification declaring Kalam as the President-elect to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan, who was Kalam's election agent.
Immediately after the results were declared, Mahajan drove to Kalam's residence to hand over the declaration.
Kalam told Mahajan he was delighted to get elected as President of India and immediately came out with a message that the country needs a 'second vision' to transform into a prosperous, poverty free, healthy and developed nation.
CPI-M leader Nilotpal Basu, who represented Sehgal, said she had secured 17,000 more of value votes than that was expected.
Sehgal got 1,07,366 value of votes from various states and Union Territories, while the Left nominee was expected to get only 90,000 from the parties that pledged support to her.
Of the 760 MPs, the missile man secured the support of 638 with a value of 4,51,704, leaving 80 to the INA veteran, Sehgal, carrying a vote value of 56,640.
Each MP has a vote value of 708 but the MLAs' vote value differs from state to state depending on the population.
As many as 42 MPs votes were found invalid out of the total 174 invalid votes. Sehgal did not get a single vote in six states -- Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim -- and the Union Territory of Pondicherry.
However, she secured the maximum votes from the left strongholds of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura. In the 292 strong West Bengal Assembly, Sehgal got 197, in Kerala 39 out of 152 and in Tripura 41 out of 60. It was a cakewalk for Kalam almost in all the other states and Union Territories.
While Kalam secured 89.58 per cent of the value of votes, Sehgal got 10.42 per cent. Of the total value of votes secured by Kalam, the highest came from Uttar Pradesh with 386 members giving a total value of 80,288 votes followed by Maharashtra where 280 members voted for him giving a vote value of 46,200.
While Tamil Nadu gave a vote share of 38192, Bihar contributed 37195 votes to Kalam's success graph.
From Delhi, Kalam secured 65 votes, leaving two to Sehgal, while three votes were invalid.
Kalam leads at the end of round one
Counting of votes begins
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