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Presidential Election 2017 begins today; its either Ram Nath Kovind or Meira Kumar in the post
Posted on: 17-07-2017 , 10:52:AM | DY365 Bureau

 Picture Courtesy: Indian Express

July 17, 2017: The much anticipated Presidential election of India begins today. Former Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar will face off in the elections to pick India's 14th President. Voting began at 10 am in the morning.

The contest which is largely being viewed as a clash between two Dalit leaders was described by Kumar as an “ideological battle”. Meanwhile, Congress president Sonia Gandhi sought “a vote of conscience”, calling the contest “a clash of ideas and a conflict of disparate values”.
A total of 95 candidates had filed nominations for presidential post, out of which 93 were rejected on various grounds, leaving only Kovind and Opposition candidate Meira Kumar in the fray. While Kumar has support of 17 opposition parties, Kovind is set to get nearly 70 per cent of the Electoral College votes. Despite the Kovind’s dominant position, Meira Kumar left no stone unturned to gain support from political parties. Ms Kumar's candidature was announced by the Opposition only after the ruling NDA had named Kovind as its candidate.
776 MPs and 4120 MLAs will decide in a secret ballot vote today. As presumed, Kovind is likely to sweep the election with 70 per cent of the Electoral College backing him. However, political parties cannot issue a whip to their members to vote for a particular nominee which means that cross-voting is possible.
From 10 am to 5 pm today, lawmakers of both houses in Parliament and members of legislatures in states will vote in special booths set up for the Presidential elections. MPs will vote on green paper ballots and state lawmakers on pink. They can't use their own pens to vote and will be given unique serial-numbered special pens with violet ink. After voting today, ballot boxes from the states will be flown to Delhi and stored in Room 62 in Parliament. Votes will be counted and results will be announced on Thursday, July 20. The new President will take oath on Tuesday, July 25.

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