Presidential polls result today: Counting from 11 am, result out by 5 pm

Ram Nath Kovind has a distinct advantage over his rival Meira Kumar

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Politics News : Counting of the votes cast to decide who will be India’s new President will begin on Thursday from 11 am. The result will decide the fate of the two contenders — the ruling NDA’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind, who has a clear edge, and the combined Opposition nominee Meira Kumar.

The candidate who secures at least one vote more than 50 per cent of the total votes will become India’s 14th President and enter the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The final result of the presidential election 2017 is expected to be out by 5 pm today.

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

Also Read : Presidential election 2017 India: Kovind or Meira Kumar, who will be the next Rashtrapati?

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

Polling to choose the successor to President Pranab Mukherjee, who demits office on July 24, was held simultaneously at 32 polling stations — one in Parliament House and one each in the 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 the 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 per cent turnout. The overall poll percentage was pegged at 99.41 per cent. A total of 776 members of Parliament and 4,120 legislators were eligible to cast votes.

Kovind has the advantage

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Kovind vs Meira: MPs, MLAs to vote for presidential candidate today

President election: The MPs will vote on Green ballots and the MLAs will vote on pink ballots

NDA meeting at Parliament House

The elected representative of the Parliament and various state assemblies on Monday will vote to elect India’s next President.

There are two candidates in the fray for the coveted post- National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Ram Nath Kovind and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate Meira Kumar. President Pranab Mukherjee’s term is expiring on July 25.

In the last presidential elections 2017 in 2012, Pranab Mukherjee had defeated P A Sangma and got over 69 per cent votes.

Ram Nath Kovind, former Governor of Bihar, was announced as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA’s candidate for the post of President of India by BJP president Amit Shah on June 19, 2017. Kovind is a leader and a politician from the BJP. Kovind filed his nomination for the election on June 23, 2017.

Also Read : Presidential elections 2017: Kovind likely to sail through as numbers favour NDA in

Meira Kumar, the former Speaker of Lok Sabha, was announced as the Indian National Congress (INC)-lead opposition’s candidate for the post of President of India, after a meeting held on June 22, 2017.

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

The president is elected by an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both houses of parliament, the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the 29 states and the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry. As of 2017, the electoral college comprises 776 MPs (Members of Parliament) and 4120 MLAs (Members of Legislative Assembly).

Also Read : Ram Nath Kovind vs Meira Kumar: Voting begins for India’s next President

The total strength of the Electoral college is 10,98,903 votes. Members of Legislative Council (MLCs) don’t take part in the election of President of India.

The value of an MLA’s vote depends on the population of the state he or she represents. But the value of the vote of an MP does not vary — it is 708.

Though the poll result will be announced on July 20, it is expected that Kovind will emerge as winner as he has also support of non-NDA parties like All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), Janata Dal- United (JD-U), Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and independents.

In terms of the percentage, the total electoral votes come to over 60 percent in favour of Kovind, which is much higher than the requisite 50 percent. Read More

Opposition Prez candidate Meira Kumar files nomination papers today

She is slated to launch a campaign from the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat on June 30

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Opposition presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind VS Meira Kumar on Wednesday filed her nomination in the presence of top Congress and opposition leaders.

Kumar, who filed her papers with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on one side and former prime minister Manmohan Singh on the other, will launch her campaign from Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat on June 30.

Politics News : Accompanying the former Lok Sabha Speaker as she filed her nomination in Parliament House were a host of opposition leaders, including NCP’s Sharad Pawar and CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

Also Read : Sonia leads Oppn support to Meira, says Prez polls an ideological battle

Sonia Gandhi and other top Congress and opposition leaders were amongst those who proposed and seconded her nomination.

The nomination papers will be scrutinised on Thursday.

Kumar, who will contest against NDA’s Ram Nath Kovind in the July 17 presidential elections, had said yesterday that it was a battle of ideologies and not a ‘Dalit versus Dalit’ fight as was being made out by some.

Why NDA chose Bihar Governor Kovind, a Dalit leader, as President nominee

Kovind’s name was a surprise to those who wanted somebody with a Hindutva image to be the candidate

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Politics News : Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), will be the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and in all likelihood the next President of India.

The BJP Parliamentary Board decided Kovind’s candidature at its meeting on Monday. Kovind is widely respected among political circles for his integrity and people remember his family to have led an abstemious lifestyle during his political career, including when he was a Rajya Sabha member from 1994 to 2006.

The BJP-led NDA has 48.6 per cent votes in the electoral college and has been promised support from regional parties like the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, YSR Congress Party, and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

Also Read : Why NDA chose Bihar Governor Kovind, a Dalit leader, as President nominee

BJP chief Amit Shah said his party has informed Opposition parties, including the Congress, about its decision. He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh regarding the matter too. Shah expressed hope that other parties will support the NDA candidate. Kovind’s name was a surprise to most, including those within the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) who had been insisting that somebody with a Hindutva image be the NDA candidate. In the choice of Kovind, Modi and Shah seem to have outmanoeuvred not just the Opposition but also convinced the RSS leadership.

Given the political symbolism, several in the Opposition might find it difficult to oppose Kovind’s candidature. While the Left parties are set to field their own candidate as they consider this an ideological fight with the Sangh Parivar, many others like the Janata Dal (United) and Bahujan Samaj Party might not find it politically sagacious to oppose Kovind. Both parties have a significant Dalit support base. Other parties were yet to make their position public at the time of filing of this report. It would be very difficult even for the Congress to oppose his candidature.

The BJP’s choice of Kovind comes at a time when Dalit groups have protested in Uttar Pradesh against the Yogi Adityanath government and raised their voice about the increasing atrocities against Dalits by upper castes and cow vigilantes. Selecting Kovind should help the BJP’s efforts at consolidating its Dalit support base in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Kovind would become the second Dalit President of India, after KR Narayanan who served as the President from 1997 to 2002.

Shah said that Kovind will file his nomination on June 23. Kovind is a two-term Rajya Sabha member. His terms were from 1994 to 2000 and 2000 to 2006. Kovind is a lawyer by profession and he hails from the Kanpur rural district. “He is from the Dalit community and from humble beginnings he has struggled to reach a high office,” Shah said. He said the NDA is yet to decide upon its vice-presidential candidate.

Who is Ram Nath Kovind