Kovind May Take His Time to Visit Kerala

Kerala is the only State that gave Kovind just one vote. The ruling party and Opposition voted in favour of Meira Kumar.

Kovind
Ram Nath Kovind, the next President of India

Kerala had the unique (or dubious?) distinction of almost completely voting against Ram Nath Kovind as he was elected as the 14th President of the country. Two bitter enemies – the CPM and the Congress voted together hand-in-hand for UPA nominee Meira Kumar.

Never to forget or forgive, the BJP may send out a message to the State by stalling a visit by the new President to God’s Own Country.

Just recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wait and finally did not give him an appointment.

More recently, the Central government moved out a major railway project from Kanjikode in Palakkad district to Haryana. The Railways also has initiated move to downgrade Thiruvananthapuram division by splitting it and giving key stations to Tamil Nadu.

It took lot of cajoling from the local unit of the party to make Modi inaugurate the first run of the Metro in Kochi. At the function, the PMO ensured that the leader of the Opposition and Left leaders were kept off the dais.The Left Government has also been shouting from rooftops accusing the Centre of delaying payments under various accounts, including subsidy to farmers.

Kovind

Meanwhile, BJP-led NDA candidate Kovind (71) easily won the Presidential contest after beating Meira Kumar, the UPA candidate, garnering two-thirds of the total votes cast.

At the end of counting on Thursday, Kovind had received over 7 lakh votes indicating about 65 per cent of the votes cast while Kumar lagged far behind with just 3.6 lakh votes.

Kovind will be the second Dalit President of the country after KR Narayanan. He is also the first BJP leader to be elected to the highest office of the land and will succeed Pranab Mukharjee.

In his ancestral village of Paraunkh in Kanpur Dehat district of Uttar Pradesh, people celebrated the victory.

“This is an emotional moment for me today,” said Kovind in his first remarks to the press at his official residence. “This responsibility being given to me is a message to every person in the country who fulfils his responsibilities with honesty.”

Meirakumar
Former Lok Sabha Speaker and UPA Presidential Nominee Meira Kumar

Meira Kumar, in her remarks to reporters, also congratulated Kovind for the victory. At the same time, she said the battle of ideologies will continue.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was gladdened by the extensive support Kovind was able to manage across the political spectrum.

“Congratulations to Shri Ram Nath Kovind Ji on being elected the President of India! Best wishes for a fruitful & inspiring tenure,” the prime minister tweeted immediately.

Kovind’s victory was a foregone conclusion. This is because NDA’s numerical strength in Parliament and the backing of non-NDA parties like the BJD, JD(U), TRS and AIADMK ensured smooth win.

Kovind’s victory has come amid reports of cross-voting in several states such as Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Jharkhand.

On August 5, the vice-presidential election will be held. NDA candidate Venkaiah Naidu will take on Gopalkrishna Gandhi of the Opposition. The votes, cast by members of both Houses of Parliament, will be counted the same day.

Raj Shankar

Shankar Raj is a senior journalist with more than 30 years experience, mostly with The Indian Express and The New Indian Express. He was the Editor for Karnataka and Kerala editions of The New Indian Express, and former Managing Editor of the Nyusu Digital Media P Ltd. Bengaluru.

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