New Delhi, July 22 (ANI): UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee was on Sunday formally elected to be the 13th President-designate of India.
Mukherjee, who has so far polled around 5,58,195 votes, will replace incumbent Pratibha Patil as the country's next president on Wednesday morning.
Mukherjee defeated former Lok Sabha speaker and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-backed candidate P.A. Sangma to emerge victorious in the race for Raisina Hill.
He will be administered the oath of office by the Chief Justice of India at around 11.30 a.m. on July 25 in the historic Central Hall of Parliament.
Meanwhile, security has been stepped up at Pranab Mukherjee's official residence at 13, Talkatora Road here. Congress Party workers and other support have begun the celebrations in the city and in other parts of the country.
Mukherjee's election to the office of the President of India brought an end to the lament of the Bengalis, who were eagerly waiting to see the local boy occupy the highest constitutional post of the country.
Mukherjee, often referred to as the best Prime Minister India never had, began his political career in 1969 and has served in every Congress cabinet since Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister.
The counting of ballots began amidst tight security at 11 a.m. today in Parliament House in the presence of authorised representatives of both Mukherjee and Sangma. The ballot boxes of votes cast in Parliament House were taken up first for counting after which those from the states will be opened.
As many as 95 percent of the 4,896 electors -- 776 MPs and 4,120 MLAs-had exercised their franchise on Thursday at the polling centres set up in Parliament House and 30 other states and Union territories with assemblies. ukherjee's candidature was backed by major outside allies like the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) besides the UPA.
Trinamool Congress (TMC), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), JD (S), CPI-M, YSR Congress and Forward Bloc also extended their support to Mukherjee along with National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners Janata Dal-United and Shiv Sena.
Sangma jumped into the fray playing the tribal card with the initial support of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
The President of India is the head of state of the Republic of India. The President is the formal head of the legislature, executive and judiciary branches of Indian Democracy and is the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces. The powers to pardon and clemency are vested with the President of India. (ANI)