Ram Nath Kovind, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance’s candidate who won the presidential election on Thursday, said his win was a “message to those discharging their duties with integrity”.

“I never aspired to be the president,” the president elect told reporters in his first statement since the results was declared. “My election as the president is an evidence of the greatness of Indian democracy. I am feeling emotional.”

The former Bihar governor defeated the Opposition’s nominee Meira Kumar with more than 65% of the votes. The BJP said his victory showed that Kovind had support from across regions, including from small political parties and Independents, which will help the BJP “build a strong pan-India coalition ahead of the 2019 election”, The Times of India reported.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated Kovind on his win.

India’s 14th president will be the first from the BJP to take office and only the second Dalit president, after KR Narayanan, who was India’s head of state from 1997 and 2002.

Kovind will be sworn in on July 25, after incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee’s tenure ends on July 24.