The election to select the 14th President of India is finally here. A total of 4896 electors will vote today through ballot system to divide the contest between NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind and Opposition candidate Meira Kumar before the results are announced on July 20.
With the run up to the voting day, the odds are highly in favour of Kovind who enjoys the support of 2180 MLAs and 530 MPs when compared to 1628 MLAs and 232 MPs supporting Meira Kumar.
Exhuming confidence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said NDA’s nominee Ram Nath Kovind has the support of 40 parties and urged the alliance lawmakers, including legislators in the states, to cast their ballot.
In a last-minute appeal ahead of Monday’s presidential election, Congress President Sonia Gandhi called for “conscience vote” while attacking the Narendra Modi government for trying to impose “narrow-minded, divisive and communal vision” on the country.
Addressing a meeting of several opposition parties on the presidential poll’s eve, she said the election represents “a clash of ideas” and “a conflict of disparate values”.
The total number of electors (4120 MLAs and 776 MPs) will be sharing the onus of electing India’s next President.
The voting is slated to begin at 10:00 AM IST and will close by 05:00 PM in the evening through the secret ballot process.
The paper ballots will then be brought to Lok Sabha where the counting begins before announcing the result on Thursday. The MPs will vote in the Parliament while the MLAs will be voting in the polling station in their respective state Assemblies.
Notably, each MP holds a value count of 708 votes while in the case of MLA the value of the vote depends on the size of his electoral college — population of his/her state.
With 4120 MLAs eligible to vote today, the total value of their votes thus becomes 5,49,495.
The poll panel has also specifically asked everyone to use only violet ink to cast votes. Use of any other ink might lead to disqualification of the vote.
There are specific coloured ballot boxes to be used for voting — MPs to cast vote in green ballots and MLAs in pink ballots.
With the term of President Pranab Mukherjee expiring on July 24, a special farewell will be given to him in the Parliament on July 23.
Following this, the President elect will subsequently leave for Rashtrapati Bhawan after the oath taking ceremony convened by the Chief Justice of India of July 25.