The online news portal of TV5
NEW DELHI - India's former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee was elected as the country's next president on Sunday, the independent Election Commission announced.
The 77-year-old veteran politician, nominated by the ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance for the position, defeated his main challenger and former parliament speaker P.A. Sangma, supported by the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, by a huge margin, garnering votes from the Members of Parliament as well as legislators from across the states.
Mukherjee has won more than 558,000 votes against 240,000 votes by his rival presidential candidate P.A. Sangma according to accounts of vote as of 16:30 local time, said local TV channel Times Now.
Mukherjee, whose political career spanned over four decades, will be sworn in Wednesday by the Chief Justice of India, and he will be succeeding incumbent Pratibha Patil whose five-year tenure ends on July 25.
A holder of two master's degrees as well as a law degree, Mukherjee held various senior positions in the country's ruling Congress party and held a number of key portfolios like defense and foreign in his career.
The native of the eastern state of West Bengal was considered as the party's main troubleshooter till he resigned from the ministry and the party to contest the presidential poll.