NEW DELHI: Voting to elect the next President of India began on Monday where NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind is pitted against opposition nominee Meira Kumar.
The counting of votes will take place in New Delhi where all the ballot boxes will be brought from various state capitals.
The electorate, comprising elected Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members and members of state assemblies, is tilted in favour of the NDA.
Both Kovind, a former Bihar Governor, and Kumar, the former Lok Sabha Speaker, have held a series of meetings across states to garner support for their candidature.
The tenure of incumbent Pranab Mukherjee comes to an end on July 24. So far 13 stalwarts, including Mukherjee, have held the post.
A total of 32 polling stations — one in Parliament House and one each in the state legislative assemblies, have been set up.
33 observers have been appointed by the EC to oversee the conduct of election. While two observers will be present in the Parliament House, one each will be deployed in the respective state assemblies.
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#PresidentialElection: Jailed NCP MLA Chhagan Bhujbal arrives at Vidhan Bhavan to cast his vote http://dnai.in/eQxQ (Pic by-@SanjayJog7)12:48 PM – 17 Jul 2017
श्री राम नाथ कोविंद जी को #PresidentialElection के लिए शुभकामनाएं। मुझे विश्वास है कि आपको बड़ा समर्थन प्राप्त होगा और आप विजयी होंगें।11:55 AM – 17 Jul 2017
Uttar Pradesh: Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and Union Minister Uma Bharti were among those who cast their votes for the presidential poll.
Seems NDA President candidate will come through. Happy that vast majority of votes from West Bengal will go to Meira Kumar: S Chatterjee, Former LS Speaker
DMK working president MK Stalin casts his vote at Tamil Nadu Assembly
No matter who wins, President will be from Scheduled Caste. Huge victory for our movement and party: BSP President Mayawati
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah cast their votes
Ram Nath Kovind ji will win with a comfortable & respectable margin: Venkaiah Naidu
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Rehearsal for the swearing-in ceremony of the new President at Delhi’s Vijay Chowk http://dnai.in/eQxQ (Pic-ANI)9:33 AM – 17 Jul 2017
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#PresidentialElection: #BJP supporters perform ‘hawan’ for Ram Nath Kovind’s victory in Varanasi http://dnai.in/eQxQ9:39 AM – 17 Jul 2017
It is expected that Ram Nath Kovind will emerge as winner as he has also support of non-NDA parties like All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), Janata Dal- United (JD-U), Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and independents.
In a fresh development, the Election Commission has barred MPs and MLAs who vote to elect the next President from carrying their personal pens inside the voting chamber and will have to mark their ballot with specially- designed marker pens.
55 MPs to vote in their state assemblies for prez poll: EC
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his Goa counterpart Manohar Parrikar are among 55 MPs who will vote in their state assemblies instead of Parliament House.
Five MLAs will cast their ballot in Parliament House and four other legislators will vote in state assemblies which they have not been elected to.
As per rules governing presidential elections, lawmakers can ask the Commission to make an exception to allow them to vote from some other place.
The NDA, led by the BJP, has 5,37,683 votes includes the Shiv Sena, and the shortage is around 12,000 votes.
In the 2012 elections, Pranab Mukherjee garnered 7,13,763 votes, while Pratibha Patil secured 6,38,116 votes in the previous polls in 2007. Both Mukherjee and Patil were Congress nominees.
The electoral college which elects the President through the system of proportional representation, comprises MPs and members of state legislative assemblies.
A total of 4896 voters — 4120 MLAs and 776 elected MPs — are eligible to cast their ballot. MLCs of states with legislative council are not part of the electoral college.
While the Lok Sabha Speaker, an elected member, can vote, the two nominated members in the Lower House from the Anglo-Indian community cannot. Twelve nominated members in Rajya Sabha are also ineligible.