Polling got underway to elect the 14th President of the country here with Kerala assembly legislators casting their votes on Monday. The traditional political rival fronts in Kerala — the CPI-M-led Left Democratic Front and the Congress-led United Democratic Front — had already announced that they would vote for the UPA candidate Meira Kumar. In the 140-member Kerala assembly, one seat is lying vacant after P.K. Kunhalikutty of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) resigned to contest and won the Malappuram Lok Sabha seat.
Parakal Abdullah of the IUML has sought permission to cast his vote in Chennai, as he is there. With the six-member Kerala Congress (Mani) party, presently sitting as an independent block in the assembly announcing that they would vote for Meira Kumar, the ruling NDA’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind in all likelihood will get just one vote from Kerala when the lone BJP legislator O. Rajagopal votes for him.
Seven-time legislator P.C.George, at present an Independent legislator, has also announced that his vote would be for Meira Kumar. The value of one vote from Kerala is 152. The lawmakers from Kerala in Parliament — 20 in the Lok Sabha and nine in the Rajya Sabha — will all cast their votes in Delhi. The voting ends at 5 p.m. Soon after that Legislature Secretary V.K. Babu Prakash and others are scheduled to leave with the ballot box for Delhi.