Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told reporters that Pratibah Patil's victory was "a victory for those forces that seek to unite our people," Press Trust of India reported.
Singh and UPA-Left party Chairwoman Sonia Gandhi were among the well-wishers who congratulated Patil, a 72-year-old former state governor who captured two-thirds of the votes cast by members of Parliament and state legislators.
While India's presidency is largely ceremonial, political leaders told the new agency Patil's election would be a prestige boost for India's women.
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