Pranab Mukherjee becomes the 13th President of India

The former Union Finance Minster had crossed the halfway mark and has scored more than 558,000 votes, officials said Sunday as counting continued. He will succeed Pratibha Patil. Mukherjee will take oath as new President on July 25.

His rival, former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma, was way behind with 239,966 votes as counting continued, Mukherjee's polling agent Pravin H. Parikh told IANS. "He has crossed the halfway mark. He is the president-elect," Parikh said.

Though the result was clear, votes would continue to be counted till all the ballot boxes were opened. 

The 13th President and former Finance Minister of India Pranab Mukherjee. Photo: AFP

The Congress began celebrating early Sunday as its candidate Pranab Mukherjee appeared set for a comfortable ride to the Rashtrapati Bhavan as India's 13th president, holding a clear winning edge over his rival P.A. Sangma.
Boxes of sweets, bouquets of exotic flowers and drumbeats - celebrations began at UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee's residence here Sunday even before the result was declared.
"Pranab's victory is a foregone conclusion... We are already celebrating," Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajv Shukla said here as counting of votes polled in the presidential polls continued at Parliament House here.

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