Ram Nath Kovind, lawyer, former MP and governor, was elected India's next President on Thursday. The government-backed candidate, a Dalit leader, won nearly 66 per cent of the votes cast by an electoral college of MPs and state lawmakers on Monday. He will be sworn in on July 25. "I realise it is a great responsibility," the 71-year-old said at his home in Delhi, where a crowd burst crackers and distributed sweets in celebration. Though he won by a huge margin, his rival Meira Kumar scored the second highest value of votes for an opposition candidate.