Voting for 14 President of India begins: Ram Nath Kovind slated to have an easy win against Opposition's Meira Kumar

Voting to elect the country's 14th President began on Monday morning. All elected MPs and member of Legislative Assemblies are eligible to cast their vote to elect the successor of Pranab Mukherjee, who demits office on 25 July.

The contest is between National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee Ram Nath Kovind and candidate of several major opposition parties Meira Kumar, who was former Lok Sabha Speaker. The total value of votes of the electoral college is 10,98,903, and the NDA candidate is slated to cross the halfway-mark and get about 63 percent votes.

Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and senior BJP leader LK Advani at NDA meeting in New Delhi on Sunday. PTI

Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and senior BJP leader LK Advani at NDA meeting in New Delhi on Sunday. PTI

Kovind, who belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has the backing of all the party's allies besides several regional parties, while Kumar has been fielded by the Congress and some major opposition parties in what they call an "ideological battle" against the ruling party.

Both Kovind and Kumar are from the Dalit community and have canvassed hard by visiting states to seek support of legislators.

All arrangements have been completed for the presidential election, and polling will take place in Parliament House and respective state assemblies between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Elected members of both houses of Parliament and assemblies in states, including the National Capital Region of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry, are eligible to vote.

Counting of votes in the election will be taken up on July 20 and the result will be known the same evening -- four days before the end of the term of President Pranab Mukherjee. The new President is set to take over on July 25.

Officials said that polling in Parliament House will take place in Room Number 62 and MPs will vote according to tables allocated to states they represent.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi would vote on table number 6 as they are all MPs from Uttar Pradesh, the officials said.

With input from IANS


Published Date: Jul 17, 2017 10:41 am | Updated Date: Jul 17, 2017 10:41 am