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 will cast their votes today. 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 is now underway
- The fight is between NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind and Opposition’s pick Meira Kumar
- A total of 4,896 lawmakers vote to elect Pranab Mukherjee’s successor
- Voting began at 10 am and will continue till 5 pm
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
- A total of 32 polling stations – one in Parliament House and one each in the state legislative assemblies – have been set up
Mamata Urges Electorate to Protest Against BJP ‘Atrocities’
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.”
Decision Will Be in India’s Favour: Meira Kumar
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”.
Vote According to Your Conscience: Kejriwal to MLAs
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.
TMC Tripura Backs Kovind
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”.
SP’s Mulayam, Shivpal Support Kovind
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.
“Kovind Will Win With Comfortable Margin”
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.
All NCP MLAs, MPs Voted for Meira Kumar: Praful Patel
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.
Huge Victory for Our Movement, Party: Mayawati
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.
PM Modi, UP CM Adityanath, Amit Shah Cast Their Votes
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.
Presidential Poll Begins, Modi Addresses Media
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.
I 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.
The GST spirit is about growing stronger together. I hope the same GST spirit prevails in the session.
Stage Set to Elect 14th President
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.
NDA’s Pick Ram Nath Kovind
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.
Congress Vouches for Meira Kumar
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.
Democratic 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.
How Does Your President Get Elected?
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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First published: 17 July, 2017 9:06 AM IST