The voting for presidential election 2017 is underway and BJP pick Ram Nath Kovind is all set for a big win against Opposition candidate Meira Kumar.
Of the total electoral college votes of 10,98,903, former Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind is almost assured of 63 per cent of them.
Besides BJP's allies in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), parties like Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) and Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) have also pledged support to Kovind in the presidential election.
Before the votes are counted and the next President of India is announced on July 20, we take a look at some of the biggest and closest victory margins recorded in previous presidential elections.
SOME OF THE WINS BY BIGGEST MARGINS:
1977: Following the sudden death of President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed in February 1977, election to the post had to be conducted within the next six months.
A total of 37 candidates filed their nominations for the presidential election, but on scrutiny the Returning Officer rejected 36 of them. The only valid nomination was that of Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy.
In July 1977, Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy was declared the new President of India. This was the first time a candidate was declared elected to the highest office without a contest.
1997: Two candidates were in the fray to succeed Shanker Dayal Sharma as the country's 11th president. They were K R Narayanan and T N Seshan. Narayanan won the presidential election with a huge margin and polled 9,56,290 votes against 50,631 votes for Seshan.
Then President K R Narayanan giving Bharat Ratna to missile man APJ Abdul Kalam. File photo: PTI.
1962: Before the second term of Rajendra Prasad expired, the election to choose his successor was held. Those in contention were Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Chowdhry Hari Ram and Yamuna Prasad Trisulia.
Dr Radhakrishnan won the election with an overwhelming margin and got 5,53,067 votes while the other two candidates together managed to get nearly 10,000 votes. (The value of votes was then calculated on the basis of the 1951 Census.)
1957: Before the first presidential term of Rajendra Prasad concluded, the election to elect the second President of India was held.
Rajendra Prasad was once again in the fray along with Chowdhry Hari Ram and Nagendra Narayan Das. Prasad polled 4,59,698 votes against 2,000 votes for Narayan Das and 2,672 votes for Hari Ram. Rajendra Prasad became the President of India for a second time.
2002: When the election to chose K R Narayanan's successor was held, APJ Abdul Kalam won it with a huge margin. Kalam was the overwhelming favourite and got 9,22,884 votes against 1,07,366 votes polled by Lakshmi Sahgal.
APJ Abdul Kalam defeated Lakshmi Sahgal with a huge margin in 2002 Presidential election. Photo: PTI.
SOME OF THE CLOSE FIGHTS FOR PRESIDENT's POST:
1969: Following the sudden demise of Dr Zakir Hussain in May 1969, then Vice President V V Giri took charge as the acting president. Two months later, Giri resigned from both the positions--vice-president and acting president--to contest the presidential election.
Of the 15 candidates, Giri polled 4,01,515 votes, while Sanjeeva Reddy got 3,13,548 votes.
However, none of the two candidates secured the number of votes required to be elected as President of India. That year, the quota for selection was fixed at 4,18,169 votes. After the first count, several candidates were excluded leaving only two people in the fray--V V Giri and N Sanjeeva Reddy. Eventually, Giri edged past the qouta mark with 4,20,277 votes while Reddy got 4,05,427 votes.
V V Giri was declared elected to the post of India's president.
1967: Seventeen candidates were in the fray for the presidential election that would choose Dr Radhakrishnan's successor.
While 9 of the 17 candidates polled zero votes, the fight was close between Dr Zakir Hussain and Kota Subbarao. While Subbarao got 3,63,971 votes, Hussain edged past him with 4,71,244 votes.
Dr Zakir Hussain assumed the President's office on May 13, 1967.
(Source: Election Commission of India)