New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday congratulated Ram Nath Kovind on being elected the President of India and reminded him that the President has been entrusted with the task of upholding the Constitution of India.
“The President of India enjoys a unique position as defender and protector of the Constitution, upholder of democratic traditions and as supreme commander of the Indian armed forces,” Sonia Gandhi said.
“The President is the conscience-keeper of the Constitution of India,” she added.
Rahul Gandhi said: “Congratulations Ram Nath Kovindji. Wishing you a great term as the President of India.”
Karnataka Chief Minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah also congratulated Kovind on his victory.
“Under your stewardship, let there be a bright future for India, with equal opportunities to all the people across the country,” Siddaramaiah said in a congratulatory message to President-elect Kovind.
The ruling Congress lawmakers in Karnataka had voted for Opposition candidate Meira Kumar, while legislators of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party voted for Kovind.
Congratulating Kovind, Congress MP Sushmita Dev said: “We hope that this battle will be remembered by the nation as a battle that stood for pluralism, inclusiveness, for upholding the principles of democracy.”
“This is the beginning of many diverse political parties with different political ideologies coming together to stand with the Constitution, to stand for the values and the principles that our Constitution stands for.
“I hope that President-elect, who will take over in next few days, will truly act as the protector of the Constitution and will defend this nation and defend the people against any attack on democracy, fundamental rights and everything that our Constitution stands for,” she added.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said: “The Congress looks forward to working with Kovind for upholding the principles of democracy and for continuously showing the mirror of truth to a government arrogating on account of numbers alone.”
On the question of cross-voting, he told the media: “I think if you examine the results more minutely, we are happy that the presidential candidate Meira Kumar holds close to 35% votes.”
“Opposition unity has stayed intact while a government which was drunk with numbers and a union minister who was also the agent of the winning candidate claimed that they will poll 70 per cent votes or more,” he added.