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Congrats pour in for India's new president

July 21, 2007 at 1:03 PM

NEW DELHI, July 21 (UPI) -- The election of India's first female president was hailed Saturday as a triumph over divisive politics.

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.