Presidential Election 2017: Counting of votes begins at 11 am, will decide fate of Ram Nath Kovind and Meira Kumar

New Delhi: Counting of the ballots cast in the 17 July presidential election will be taken up in New Delhi on Thursday to decide the fate of two contenders — the ruling NDA's candidate Ram Nath Kovind, who has a clear edge, and the combined Opposition nominee Meira Kumar.

Officials said all preparations have been made for the vote count and that all ballot boxes have already reached Parliament House by Tuesday evening amid tight security.

They said the counting will begin at 11 am simultaneously across four tables. There will be eight rounds of counting, and announcements made after every round.

NDA's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. Twitter/AIR

NDA's presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. Twitter/AIR

Polling to choose the successor to President Pranab Mukherjee, who demits office on 24 July, was held simultaneously at 32 polling stations — one in Parliament House and one each in 29 state assemblies and two union territories with assemblies.

Lok Sabha secretary general Anoop Mishra is the returning officer for the election, and will issue the certificate to the winning candidate.

Officials said the seals of ballot boxes will be opened on Thursday in the presence of representatives of the two candidates — former Bihar Governor Kovind and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar — and the observers of the Election Commission.

In Monday's polling, several states registered 100 percent polling. The overall poll percentage was pegged at 99.41 percent. A total of 776 members of Parliament and 4,120 legislators were eligible to cast votes.

In the electoral arithmetic, Kovind has a distinct advantage over his rival as parties like the Janata Dal-United and the Biju Janata Dal, otherewise not allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party, had decided to vote for him.

The Janata Dal-United has about 1.91 percent of electoral college votes, while the BJD of Odisha has 2.99 percent.

In addition, the ruling Telengana Rashtra Samithi in Telangana (two percent), different factions of AIADMK (5.39 percent), and the YSR Congress (1.53 percent) also had announced their backing for Kovind.

Oppositions's presidential candidate Meira Kumar. PTI

Oppositions's presidential candidate Meira Kumar. PTI

The value of vote of an MP is 708 while that of an Assembly member varies from state to state depending on the size of its population. The total value of votes of the presidential electoral college is 10,98,903, and the NDA candidate is slated to get over 63 percent votes.

In the last presidential election in 2012, Pranab Mukherjee had defeated PA Sangma and got over 69 percent votes.

Updated Date: Jul 20, 2017 07:48 AM

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