Powerful politician Pranab Mukherjee has been elected India’s thirteenth president on Sunday.
The presidential candidate of the ruling Congress-led alliance, United Progressive Alliance (UPA), got around 5.18 lakh votes to become the new President of India.
Mukherjee secured a vote value of 3,73,116 from Member of Parliament (MP) and 1.36 lakh votes from Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs).
As expected, the UPA constituents and its key supporting parties, including Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and others had supported Mukherjee, along with support from opposition parties as well.
Mukherjee, who began his career from the Indian National Congress, will take oath as the president on July 25, 2012.
Celebrations sparked across different Indian cities, including Delhi, Patna, Kolkata, Birbhum, Bhopal and Ahmadabad.
Mukherjee is a respected conciliator, and as head of state he may play a role in who governs India after the general election due in 2014.
He had far more support than his rival, former parliamentary speaker P.A. Sangma, who managed to get only 1,45,848 MP votes. His votes increased to over 2.2 lakh after votes of MLAs of BJP-ruled states were counted.
Despite his decades at the top of the Congress party, Mukherjee commands respect from across the political spectrum and his renowned negotiating skills would be valuable after a messy general election result.
However with his elevation as president, the ruling coalition has lost its principal troubleshooter as well as the Leader of the House, its finance minister and the number two to the prime minister in the cabinet.
A full cabinet reshuffle can be expected in the coming weeks, possibly after September 6, when the monsoon session of Parliament concludes.