Before Ram Nath Kovind vs Meira Kumar: A throwback to historical wins and losses in presidential run

With the voting for presidential election 2017 underway, all eyes are on Dalit leader Ram Nath Kovind, as the BJP candidate is expected to emerge victorious against Opposition's pick Meira Kumar.

Nearly 70 percent of the 10,98,903-vote strong electoral college is expected to support the candidature of former Bihar governor, as Janata Dal (United) and BJD have also pledged to stand by Kovind, along with BJP's allies in the NDA.

But before the next President of India is announced, here's a look-back in time to when margins were exceptionally wide and when they were just too narrow.

File image of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Reuters

File image of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Reuters

When the results were too obvious

1957: Chowdhry Hari Ram and Nagendra Narayan Das contested along with Rajendra Prasad, who was in the fray for the second time to become the President of India. Prasad got 4,59,698 votes against 2,000 votes for Narayan Das and 2,672 votes for Hari Ram. This way, Rajendra Prasad became the President of India for the second time, says India Today in a recollection of the event.

1962: Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan was the vice-president when Prasad was about to end his second tenure. He contested along with Chowdhry Hari Ram and Yamuna Prasad Trisulia in a bid to succeed Prasad as the president.

With an exceptional margin, Dr Radhakrishnan won the election, bagging 5,53,067 votes since there was no official candidate from the Opposition then, recalls another India Today report.

1977: The sudden demise of President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed left the country without a president, requiring the election to be conducted within the next six months.

Out of the 37 nominations that were received, the only valid nomination was that of Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, who was then declared the President of India. Neelam Sanjiva Reddy is the only president to win unopposed in independent India, as NDTV points out.

1997: To become the 11th president, KR Narayanan and TN Seshan were pitted against each other in the 1997 presidential election. Narayanan became the first Dalit President of India, winning a one-sided presidential election, recalls DNA, by securing more than 90% votes in the Electoral College.

2002: APJ Abdul Kalam won with a huge margin when the election to choose KR Narayanan's successor was held. Kalam, who was fielded by BJP but also backed by Congress, was only challenged by the Left parties who projected freedom fighter Captain Lakshmi Sehgal, DNA points in the same report.

Kalam garnered 9,22,884 votes against Sehgal's 1,07,366.

When the results were hard to guess

1967: Seventeen candidates were in the fray for the presidential election that would choose Dr Radhakrishnan's successor.

While 9 of the 17 candidates polled zero votes, the fight was close between Dr Zakir Hussain and Kota Subbarao. Hussain defeated Subbarao by a margin of over 1 lakh votes, to become the first Muslim President of India, reports India Today.

1969: Vice-president VV Giri took charge as the acting president following the sudden death of Dr Zakir Hussain in May. Giri later resigned from both the positions to contest the presidential election.

Held at a time the Congress was plagued by bitter rivalries, Indira Gandhi-backed Giri, polled 4,01,515 votes, while Sanjeeva Reddy got 3,13,548 votes. The margin of victory for Giri was 87,967 votes, the smallest ever in the history of the election.

VV Giri, an independent candidate, was declared India's president.


Updated Date: Jul 17, 2017 16:34 PM

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