MPs and MLAs across India today voted for India's 14th President. NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind looks set to win with a comfortable margin against opposition-backed Meira Kumar as mathematical calculation proves it.
Polling to choose the successor of incumbent Pranab Mukherjee, who demits office on July 25, started simultaneously in Parliament in Delhi and state assemblies at 10 AM and ended at 5 PM.
All elected MPs and MLAs were eligible to cast their vote through secret ballot. TheÂ Election Commission had supplied a special pen to all voters to mark their choice of candidate on ballot papers.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi
and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah were among the first to cast their votes in Parliament.
Yesterday, on the eve of the presidential election, the prime minister had already congratulated Ram Nath Kovind "in advance" and assured him of his government's support.
The Election Commission had put up a total of 32 polling stations - one in Parliament House Room No 62 and rest one each in state legislative assemblies - for the polls.
A total of 776 MPs and 4,120 MLAs were eligible to vote. 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 per cent votes.
Kovind -- ex-Bihar governor -- has an advantage over Meira Kumar -- a former Lok Sabha speaker -- as the numbers are stacked in favour of the ruling NDA.
The BJP and allies have nearly 63 per cent of the vote while the Congress-led opposition has a little over 35 per cent. Independents and other smaller parties, who have not made their choice known, have two per cent.
If elected, Kovind will be the second Dalit President of India. K.R. Narayanan was the first from the community to hold the post.
"Kovindji will win with a comfortable and respectable margin," Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu
said before voting.
Meira Kumar said she has requested members of the electoral college to "heed the inner voice of their conscience" and vote in the best interest of the country.
The ballot boxes will be brought to Delhi for counting on July 20 and results will be declared the same day.
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