Presidential Polls: 99% Voting Recorded, Numbers Favour Kovind

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah were among the first to cast their votes to elect the 14th President of India. A total of 776 MPs and 4,120 MLAs cast their votes on Monday. The fight is between NDA’s nominee and former Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind and Opposition’s candidate and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar. Watch out this space for all the live updates on the Presidential election 2017.

  • Voting for presidential election 2017 has ended
  • The fight was between NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind and Opposition’s pick Meira Kumar
  • The results will be announced on 20 July
  • A total of 4,896 lawmakers voted to elect Pranab Mukherjee’s successor
  • PM Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and UP CM Yogi Adityanath cast their votes around 10:20 am
  • Sonia Gandhi and son Rahul cast their votes around 1 pm

Close to 99 percent voting was recorded today for electing India's 14th president, the returning officer for the poll announced saying it was perhaps the highest-ever percentage.

The numbers are stacked in favour of the ruling coalition’s nominee Ram Nath Kovind over the opposition’s candidate Meira Kumar.

Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Gujarat, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Nagaland, Uttarakhand and Puducherry recorded 100 percent voting.

In Parliament House, the voting percentage was 99 percent, said Mishra.

The Quint’s editorial director Sanjay Pugalia and senior reporter Neeraj Gupta discuss the presidential polls and who could become Pranab Mukherjee’s successor.

The voting for presidential elections has ended. The results will be announced on 20 July.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday walked up to senior opposition leaders in the Lok Sabha to greet them as the House met on the opening day of the monsoon session while voting was underway for the keenly- contested presidential election in the parliament complex.

Just before the proceedings began, Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar greeted leaders from various parties in the opposition benches including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah.

The Congress-led opposition's nominee Meira Kumar is pitted against NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind.

The results will be declared on 20 July in New Delhi.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that the presidential polls should be a vote against ‘injustice’ and that the electorate should not support the BJP and that they should protest against their “atrocities.” She further added that the Trinamool Congress has voted for Meira Kumar to “register” their “protest against present atrocities in the country.”

Prime Minister Modi casts his vote in the presidential polls. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ PMO India)
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi votes at the Parliament booth.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi 
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with senior BJP leader LK Advani and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah at the Parliament House.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis casts his vote in legislative Assembly.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao casts his vote. 
Union Minister Uma Bharti arrives at the UP Assembly in Lucknow to vote.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu votes in Amravati.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh casts his vote in the state Assembly premises.
Odisha CM Naveen Biju Patnaik at the Odisha Assembly.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje
DMK working president MK Stalin casts his vote in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.
Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy casts his vote.

Opposition candidate Meira Kumar on Monday reiterated her remark on the ongoing presidential polls by calling it a “battle of ideologies”.

Addressing the media, she said that she had urged the “collegium to listen to the voice of their conscience” and that the “decision will be taken in India’s favour”.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejirwal on Monday said that MLAs should vote in the presidential poll according to their conscience.

Earlier in the day, BJP MLA Om Prakash Sharma had claimed that “10-12 AAP legislators who are unhappy with Kejriwal” had voted for NDA’s Kovind.

“We are supporting Meira Kumar. All should vote following their conscience,” Kejriwal, who cast his vote in the Delhi assembly, said in response.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, sacked AAP minister Kapil Mishra and Leader of Opposition in the assembly, Vijender Gupta also reached Vidhan Sabha to cast their votes.

Though the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has backed Opposition’s nominee Meira Kumar, the Tripura branch of the party has come out in the support of Kovind.

TMC’s Tripura chief Ashish Shah said that the party in the state voted for the NDA candidate to “register its protest against the crimes of CPI(M), Congress as well as TMC”.

In a blow to the Congress, Samajwadi Party’s veteran leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav will vote for “secular” NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind.

According to CNN-News18, Shivpal said:

Kovind is a secular person. He is a man of reputation. He is winning the polls.

The BJP on Monday exuded confidence that its candidate Ram Nath Kovind would win with a “comfortable” margin.

“Kovind ji will win (the election) with a respectable and comfortable margin,” Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters.

Naidu, however, refused to comment on the BJP parliamentary board's meeting to pick the ruling alliance's vice presidential candidate.

Nationalist Congress Party leader Praful Patel told ANI that all the party MLAs and MPs have voted for Opposition’s nominee Meira Kumar in the presidential polls.

Even after voting for Kumar, Patel told Hindustan Times that “there is no rocket science involved” in the prediction that Kovind will win.

Addressing the media, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo said, “No matter who wins, the President will be from a Scheduled Caste. It is a huge victory for our movement and party.”

Hindustan Times quoted BSP MLA Lalji Verma as saying that all the 19 legislators from his party will vote for Meira Kumar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi cast his vote in the Parliament booth on Monday.

PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah cast their votes in the Parliament today. Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was among the first lawmakers to vote at the UP assembly in Lucknow.

He said that there is no doubt that Kovind will emerge as the winner.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first to cast his vote to elect the next President of India today.

Ahead of the voting and the first day of Parliament’s Monsoon Session, he addressed the media outside the Parliament. He hoped the "growing stronger together" spirit of GST will bring enthusiasm to Parliament proceedings and that political parties will engage in high standard of debate and provide value addition during the Monsoon session.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses media on Monday. 

Narendra ModiI believe, all political parties, all MPs, will take significant decisions in national interest, will engage with high standard of debate and will try to provide value addition in all issues, value addition in all system.

Further, he said the passage of GST showed the good that can be achieved when all parties come together and work for the nation.

Narendra ModiThe GST spirit is about growing stronger together. I hope the same GST spirit prevails in the session.

NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind and Opposition’s Meira Kumar will face off in the electoral battle today that will select India’s 14th President.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the presidential polls “historic” on Sunday since there has been no “undignified or unwarranted comment” by the rival parties against each other’s candidates. The Congress, on the other hand, has pitched today’s poll as an “ideological battle”.

Modi said the campaigns by the two candidates and parties supporting them had been very dignified and showed the maturity of the Indian democracy.

Modi congratulated Kovind “in advance” on Sunday, and assured him of his government’s support.

Kovind’s win against Opposition candidate Meira Kumar is a foregone conclusion as the ruling coalition has secured the support of nearly two-thirds of the electoral college, with some political parties even outside the NDA fold throwing their weight behind him.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar made light of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's call to MPs and MLAs for “vote of conscience”, saying 40 political parties have supported Kovind's presidential bid and non-NDA chief ministers of states like Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Odisha have also announced their support for him.

Kovind, a lawyer by profession, began his career in 1971. He worked in the capacity of an advocate for the Central government in Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979. Throughout his 16-year-long legal career, he practised in both the Delhi HC and the Supreme Court.

Kovind was elected as a Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh. He served two consecutive terms for 12 years from 1994 to 2006.

Read the full report here.

Also Read: The Quint Visits NDA Prez Nominee Ram Nath Kovind’s Ancestral Home

Meira Kumar, after being named as the Opposition’s nominee, said she will fight on the united ideology of the 17 political parties that have come together to project her as their nominee.

She is the daughter of the former deputy prime minister and prominent Dalit leader Jagjivan Ram and freedom fighter Indrani Devi. She attended Pelham Girls’ School and Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls’ Public School and went on to complete her MA and LLB from Indraprastha College and Miranda House, respectively.

In 1970, she joined the Indian Foreign Services. In 1985, she entered politics and became a member of the Indian National Congress. Kumar contested from Bijnor district in Uttar Pradesh, defeating popular Dalit leaders like Ram Vilas Paswan and Mayawati.

Meira KumarDemocratic values, inclusiveness, social justice, freedom of the press, transparency are some of the cherished values of this ideology. And this ideology is very close to my heart for these reasons. 

Read the full report here.

The President is elected by an electoral college, which comprises only of elected representatives. These include State legislative assembly members (including Puducherry and Delhi), and members of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. Take a look.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)

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