Presidential election Live: Samajwadi Party still divided as voting begins NDA’s Ram Nath Kovind and Opposition’s Meira Kumar battle
- Published: Monday, 17 July 2017 11:07
BJP-led NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind appears to have the advantage against his opponent Meira Kumar, a former Lok Sabha Speaker and the opposition’s nominee.
The voting will be held between 10am and 5pm. Paper ballots will be used in the presidential election and the votes will be valid only if the special violet ink pen is used to vote.
The electoral college of the presidential election comprises 4,120 MLAs and 776 MPs with a total vote value of 10,98,903 -- 549,408 for 543 Lok Sabha and 233 Rajya Sabha parliamentarians, and 549,495 for 4,120 legislators in state assemblies.
The halfway mark is expected to be 549,442, but that will depend on the number of valid votes.
Kovind is expected to garner more than 70% of the votes as the NDA enjoys a brute majority in the Lok Sabha and in also 17 states.
Here are live updates:
10.50am: All the best to Shri Ram Nath Kovind Ji for the #PresidentialElection. Am confident you will receive huge support & emerge victorious.
10.48am: BJP MP and Union minister Uma Bharti voted in UP Vidhan Bhavan. “Who will win is clear. We only have to see how big will be the victory margin,” says Uma Bharti.
10.44am: In Tamil Nadu, DMK working president MK Stalin casts his vote in the presidential election.
10.41am: Jailed MLAs Chhagan Bhujbal and Ramesh Kadam will be brought to Maharashtra Legislative Assembly from prison for voting.
10.30am: BSP MLA Lalji Verma said all the 19 legislators from his party will vote for Meira Kumar.
10.28am: BSP president Mayawati said: “No matter who wins, President will be from Scheduled Caste. Huge victory for our movement and party.”
10.25am: On Samajwadi Party legislator’s Shivpal Yadav’s open support for NDA presidential candidate Kovind, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kesav Prasad Maurya said, “He is most welcome”.
10.20am: MLAs queue up at Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly to cast their votes in the presidential election.
10.15am: PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah cast their votes at the Parliament.
10.10am: Voting begins at the UP Assembly in Lucknow amidst heightened security following discovery of PETN (explosive) in Vidhan Sabha on July 12. 10.09am: MPs begin to cast vote in the presidential election in the Parliament.
10.08am: PM Modi says “Growing Stronger Together” is the other name for GST. “GST shows the good that can be achieved when all parties come together and work for the nation,” PM tweeted.
10.07am: BJP president Amit Shah, a legislator from Gujarat, arrives at the Parliament to vote in the presidential election.
10.05am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks ahead of monsoon session. “This monsoon session is special because we have got an opportunity to elect the next President and vice-president,” says the PM.
9.57am: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath will be among the first lawmakers to vote at the UP assembly in Lucknow.
9.50am: Preparations are underway at Karnataka Legislative Assembly in Bengaluru ahead of the presidential election.
9.40am: Union minister Venkaiah Naidu said NDA presidential candidate “Ram Nath Kovind ji will win with a comfortable and respectable margin”.
9.33am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah to cast their votes at 10 am in the Parliament, news agency ANI tweeted.
9.20am: BSP chief Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav (though he himself is not a voter as he is an MLC) are supporting Meira Kumar while the Mulayam-Shivpal faction is extending support to Kovind.
9.15am: Uttar Pradesh has a total of 403 MLAs. Of these, BJP and allies include 325 legislators, SP 47, BSP 19, Congress 7, RLD 1 and NISHAD 1. There are three independent MLAs.
9am: Of the total value of 10,96,004 votes, the opposition is eyeing around 400,000 and also is hopeful of cross-voting in the absence of a party whip. The opposition parties are taking all steps to ensure there lawmakers don’t vote for Kovind.
8.53am: BJP supporters perform ‘hawan’ at Varanasi for NDA’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind’s victory.
Twitter Ads info and privacy 8.45am: Rehearsal has begun for the swearing-in ceremony of the new President at Delhi’s Vijay Chowk.
8.34am: Leaders of opposition parties to meet at 10am in the Parliament: ANI
8.25am: How opposition parties stand
Apart from the JD(U), the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the YSR Congress Party, both factions of the AIADMK and the Biju Janata Dal have extended support to Kovind.
With the Samajwadi Party still a divided house, its two factions are likely to vote for two different candidates during the presidential election.
8.20am: Here’s what Congress president Sonia Gandhi said
A day before the presidential election, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi described on Sunday the contest as a fight against a “narrow-minded, divisive and communal vision”.
Addressing opposition leaders in the presence of their presidential and vice presidential nominees --- Meira Kumar and Gopal Krishna Gandhi, the Congress president told participants to “fight the battle and fight hard” despite the ruling dispensation seemingly having a numerical advantage.
8.15am: PM Modi Congratulates Kovind ‘in advance’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind “in advance” and assured him of his government’s support, a day before the election to the top constitutional post.
Modi termed the “lack of bitterness” in the poll campaign as a sign of maturity in the Indian democracy.
(Source: The Hindustan Times)