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Presidential election LIVE: Ram Nath Kovind vs Meira Kumar; voting to begin at 10 am

17 July, 2017 1:25 AM
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Presidential election LIVE: Ram Nath Kovind vs Meira Kumar; voting to begin at 10 am

A total of 4896 voters --- 4120 MLAs and 776 elected MPs -- are eligible to cast their ballot. MLCs of states with legislative council are not part of the electoral college.

Kovind, who belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has the backing of all the party's allies besides several regional parties, while Kumar has been fielded by the Congress and some major opposition parties in what they call an "ideological battle" against the ruling party.

Counting of votes in the election will be taken up on July 20 and the result will be known the same evening -- four days before the end of the term of President Pranab Mukherjee. The new President is set to take over on July 25.

While the Lok Sabha Speaker, an elected member, can vote, the two nominated members in the Lower House from the Anglo-Indian community cannot.

Since the election is through a secret ballot, the parties cannot issue a whip to their members to vote for a particular candidate.

The NDA, led by the BJP, has 5,37,683 votes includes the Shiv Sena, and the shortage is around 12,000 votes.

But the promised support from the BJD, the TRS and the YSR Congress and likely backing from the AIADMK factions could offset the shorfall of the presidential votes by a substantial margin.

Also read: Parliament live updates: Congress MLAs are being abducted in Gujarat, claims Anand Sharma in Rajya Sabha

Source: zeenews.india.com

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