The United States has congratulated president-elect Ram Nath Kovind on his electoral victory and said that it looks forward to working with him on regional and global issues. Kovind, a low-key lawyer-turned-politician, was yesterday elected as India’s 14th President, the first BJP member and the second Dalit to occupy the country’s highest office. “We want to congratulate the President-elect Ramnath Kovind on his victory,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters at a news conference yesterday.
Noting that the US and India have a “deep and growing strategic partnership”, she said: “We look forward to working with the president-elect on regional and global issues.” Nauert credited the close people-to-people contact between the world’s two largest democracies with the type of partnership they share. “That partnership is obviously underpinned by our very close people-to-people contact with the Indian government and our shared democratic values,” Nauert said in response to a question.
A former Bihar governor, Kovind, 71, received 2930 votes with a value of 7,02,044, to defeat the joint opposition candidate Meira Kumar, a former Lok Sabha speaker, who got 1844 votes with a value of 3,67,314. Kovind garnered 65.65 per cent of the votes in the electoral college against the BJP’s projected 70 per cent vote for him.