My election shows democracy's greatness: India's President-elect Ram Nath Kovind


NEW DELHI, July 20: Calling his election the "greatness of democracy", India's President-elect Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday pledged to work for the betterment of the country.

"This is a very emotional moment," Kovind told reporters after being elected President of India. "This is a very big responsibility for me."

"It is my duty to protect the Constitution and uphold its values as the President. I pay my respects to my countrymen and assure them that I'll serve the nation in the spirit of "Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah" (May all be happy)," he said.

Recalling his childhood days, Kovind said: "It has been raining since morning in Delhi. This weather reminds me of my childhood days when I used to live in my ancestral village."

"We lived in a 'kuchha' house made of mud. The roof couldn't stop the water trickles during the rainy season. I, along with my brothers and sisters, used to stand in a corner and wait for the rain to stop."

"There could be many such Ram Nath Kovinds who are getting drenched in the rain. Many are working hard to earn their livelihood in this rain. I represent all those hardworking people. This is also a message to those who earn their livelihood with hard work and honesty," he said.

Kovind said, "I neither thought I would be elected to this post, nor was this my aim. But my everlasting spirit to serve the society and my country has brought me here."

"This spirit is also the tradition of our country. My election to the post of President reflects the greatness of Indian democracy."

He also thanked joint opposition candidate Meira Kumar and wished well for her future.

Earlier, Kumar too extended her best wishes to President-elect Kovind after he was elected as the 14th President of India.

"My best wishes with Kovindji as it has fallen upon him to uphold Constitution in letter and spirit in these challenging times," Kumar said.

She said while election may be over, she would continue to uphold the values of her ideology.

"Today, the 20th of July, my battle for ideology doesn't end. It will continue. Because the ideology, value system and principles I am fighting for are held scared by most people of my country." Kumar enumerated those values.

"I will continue to fight for social justice, inclusivenss, secularism, transparency, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and eradicating the caste system will all the strength on my partue," Kumar said.

She also thanked members of the collegium, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and leaders of all the political parties who supported her.(TOI)


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