Close to 99 per cent voting was recorded today for electing India's 14th president, the returning officer for the poll announced. The counting of votes will take place on July 20. The numbers are stacked in favour of the ruling coalition's nominee Ram Nath Kovind over the opposition's candidate Meira Kumar. Voting began at 10 am in the Parliament building as well as state assemblies. The electoral college of the presidential election comprises 4,120 MLAs and 776 MPs with a total vote value of 10,98,903.
Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Gujarat, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Nagaland, Uttarakhand and Puducherry recorded 100 per cent voting. In Parliament House, the voting percentage was 99 per cent, said Lok Sabha Secretary General Anoop Mishra, who is also the returning officer for the polls.
He said while the sanctioned strength of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha is 776, 771 MPs were eligible to cast their votes. There are two vacancies each in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, while one BJP MP Chedi Paswan does not have voting rights, he added.
In Delhi, 717 MPs were to cast their ballot but only 714 exercised their franchise. The TMC's Tapas Pal, the BJD's Ram Chandra Hansdak and Ambumani Ramadoss of the PMK did not cast their votes.
Fifty-four MPs had sought permissions to cast their vote in state capitals. These included Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, his UP counterpart Adityanath, his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya and Union minister Uma Bharti. BJP chief Amit Shah, who is an MLA from Gujarat, had also sought permission to cast his vote in Delhi.
Trinamool Congress MPs cast their votes in Kolkata.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first person to cast his vote, Mishra said.
He also said that except for Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur and Tripura, data has been received from all other states which indicates that the voting was "close to 100 per cent".
Counting will begin at 11 AM on July 20. First the ballot box of Parliament House will be opened, and then, the ballot boxes received from states will be counted on alphabetical basis.
The votes will be counted on four separate tables and there would be eight rounds of counting.
A total of 32 polling stations — one in Parliament House and one each in the state legislative Assemblies — were set up for the voting. Thirty-three observers were appointed by the EC to oversee the election. While two observers were present in Parliament House, one each were deployed at the Assemblies.
A total of 4,896 voters -- 4,120 MLAs and 776 elected MPs -- are eligible to cast their ballot. MLCs of states with legislative council are not part of the electoral college. While the value of an MLA's vote depends on the population of the state he or she belongs to, the value of an MP's vote remains the same at 708.
The value of an MLA's vote in Sikkim is seven while in Uttar Pradesh, it is 208.
Kovind’s victory against Meira Kumar is a foregone conclusion as close to 40 parties, including many outside the NDA fold, have pledged support to him. Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), which has about 1.91 per cent of electoral college votes, supported Mr Kovind’s candidature – a move which came as a big blow to the opposition, which had picked the Presidential elections as an occasion to forge an anti-BJP bloc ahead of the 2019 general elections.
While Kumar has support of 17 opposition parties, Kovind is set to get nearly 70 per cent of the electoral college votes.
Here are the highlights from Presidential election 2017:
* All the 175 MLAs in Andhra Pradesh exercised their franchise in the presidential election today
* Voting for presidential election ends in MP: All the 228 MLAs in the electoral list cast their votes, says EC official
* Voting for presidential election ends in Gujarat: 180 out of total 182 members of the Gujarat Assembly cast their votes
* All 81 elected MLAs in Jharkhand cast votes for prez poll
* 34 legislators in the 40-member Mizoram Assembly vote for the presidential election till 1.30pm
* Voting for Prez poll in Rajasthan assembly ends: 199 legislators out of 200 exercise their franchise. Former CM Ashok Gehlot casts his vote in Gujarat.
* Voting for prez poll in Arunachal Pradesh Assembly: 58 of 59 members in a house of 60 cast their vote
* Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar and senior Akali leader Parkash Singh Badal cast their votes for the presidential poll in Chandigarh
* Voting for presidential election in Goa: Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, MLAs casts vote at secretariat
* Odisha legislatures exercise franchise in prez poll
* Hundred per cent polling in Himachal Pradesh with all 67 MLAs casting their vote
* Presidential poll over in Tamil Nadu: 232 legislators, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan, and Kerala MLA Parikkal Abdullah cast their votes within two hours of opening of polling
* We voted for Meira Kumar to register our protest against "present atrocities" in the country: Mamata Banerjee
* All opposition parties must unite together. This is the best time: Mamata
* We will play an aggressive role in Parliament. We are ready to go to jail but will not bow our heads: Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister, West Bengal
* West Bengal legislators exercise franchise in presidential poll
* Maharashtra Cm Devendra Fadnavis casts his vote
* We have decided to vote for Ram Nath Kovind in the presdiential election, says Shivpal Yadav
* Fighting battle of ideologies,had urged collegium to listen to voice of their conscience and decision will be taken in India's favour: Meira Kumar
* Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice-President Rahul Gandhi cast their votes for the Presidential election
* All NCP MLAs and MPs have voted for Meira Kumar, says Praful Patel
* DMK working president MK Stalin casts his vote at Tamil Nadu Assembly
* This is matter of pride for the people of Uttar Pradesh, the the son of the state is going to become the President: Yogi Adityanath
* UP CM Yogi says the voting has begun, and Ram Nath Kovind will undoubtedly win the election
* Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath castes his vote at UP Assembly
* MPs begin to caste their votes for presidential election 2017
* PM Modi and Amit Shah cast their votes in Room no. 62 of the Parliament
* GST shows the good that can be achieved when all parties come together and work for nation, says PM Modi
* Monsoon Session will be successful because of GST, says PM Modi head of the presidential election.
* Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said Ram Nath Kovind will win with a comfortable and respectable margin. #
* PM Modi and BJP President Amit Shah will cats their votes at 10 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah to cast their votes at 10 am in the Parliament #PresidentialPoll2017— ANI (@ANI) July 17, 2017
* BSP chief Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav are supporing Meira Kumar's candidature, while Mulayam-Shivpal faction is backing Ram Nath Kovind.