Presidential election 2017: Lawmakers across the country are voting today to elect the next President of India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first leaders to cast his vote to elect the next president. Voting started at around 10 AM and will continue till 5 PM. As many as 32 polling stations — one in Parliament House and one each in the state legislative assemblies — have been set up.
NDA’s Ram Nath Kovind is contesting against opposition’s Meira Kumar. Both are Dalit leaders and lawyers by training. But Kovind looks set to win as the electorate, comprising elected Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members and members of state assemblies, is tilted in favour of the NDA. Here are top takeaways from the voting for Presidential ELection 2017 today:
1. Ram Nath Kovind set to get 70% votes
As many as 70% votes are with NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind. His victory is all but certain. Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee told ANI, “It seems NDA Presidential candidate will come through. Happy that vast majority of votes from WB will go to MeiraKumar.”
2. Sonia Gandhi’s secular front crumbles
Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s efforts to form a secular front ahead of the Prediential election have crumbled. Opposition parties like JD(U) have supported Kovind while SP’s Shivpal Yadav faction has also reportedly voted for him in Uttar Pradesh.
3. Dalit victory certain, says a happy Mayawati
Not worried about who would win, BSP chief Mayawati is already celebrating as both candidates are Dalits. “The nominees of both, the NDA and the Opposition, are from the Dalit community. This is the first time that Dalit candidates are being pitched from both the sides. Losing-winning is different. But the good part is that, a Dalit will become the President of India. It is a huge victory for our movement and party,” Mayawati told ANI
4. Congress ally National Conference concedes defeat
Congress ally National Conference has already conceded defeat in the Presidential election.
5. NDA V-P pick likely from South India, Venkaiah Naidu front runner as NDA VP
Times Now reported that NDA is likely to pick Vice Presidential candidate from South India and Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu is the front runner.
6. Cross voting hits UPA hard
Cross voting by SP leaders in Uttar Pradesh and by some TMC leaders in West Bengal has been reported. ABP news reported that SP leader Shivpal Yadav also voted for Kovind.
7. Sonia’s conscience call rejected
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday said the presidential election demanded a “vote of conscience” as it represented a clash of ideas and conflict of disparate values. However, polling reports show her appeal has not been effective by a majority of legislators across the country.
8. Shiv Sena says UPA Vice-Presdiential candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi is a terror apologist
Shiv Sena alleged that the Congress Vice-Presidential candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi had tried to save terror convict Yakub Memon from death penalty in 2015. Sena leader Sanjay Raut told ANI, “Madam ji (Sonia Gandhi) you selected Gopalkrishna Gandhi as VP candidate, he used all his power to save Yakub Memon from death penalty.”