A visibly emotional President-elect Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday said he will work towards protecting the Constitution and upholding its values, and will serve the nation to ensure happiness for all, IANS reported.
"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 hard working people. This is also a message to those who earn their livelihood with hard work and honesty," he said.
"I want to tell them that this Ram Nath Kovind of Paraunkh village is going to Rashtrapati Bhavan as their representative," the president-elect was quoted as saying by PTI.
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."
His election to a position held by distinguished personalities like Rajendra Prasad, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, APJ Abdul Kalam and Pranab Mukherjee had given him a sense of huge responsibility, he said.
The former Bihar governor and two-term Rajya Sabha member thanked the people of India and elected representatives for showing their confidence in him.
He said, "I would like to thank the people of this country, all political parties and all the public representatives."
Kovind also thanked his rival and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, and wished well for her future.
Kovind, the ruling National Democratic Alliance's candidate, was on Thursday declared elected as the 14th President of India, defeating Kumar, after vote count in Parliament House.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Jul 20, 2017 18:42 PM | Updated Date: Jul 21, 2017 07:30 AM