Race to Raisina Hill ends today, as counting begins
The Presidential poll counting will begin today, following which the fourteenth President of India will be announced. Numbers look to be stacked in favour of NDA nominee, Ram Nath Kovind.
The counting of votes for Presidential Elections 2017 will take place at 11 am on 20 July 2017, following which India will get its 14th President.
The candidate who secures at least one vote more than 50 per cent of the total votes will be announced as the poll winner. The election for the same was held on 17 July 2017 and around 99 per cent voting was recorded, the highest ever.
The numbers look to be stacked in favour of NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind over opposition candidate Meira Kumar.
• The counting will begin at 11 am. First, the ballot box of Parliament House will be opened and then, the ballot papers received from states will be counted in alphabetical order.
• The President is elected by the electoral college, a body that comprises all elected members of Parliament and members of the legislative assemblies of all states, as well as of the union territories of Delhi and Puducherry.
• Out of 771 Members of Parliament of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, 768 have cast their votes while of 4100 state legislators, 4075 have exercised their right.
• The votes would be counted on four separate tables and there would be eight rounds of counting.
• The counting would be held under the supervision of the Lok Sabha secretary general Anoop Mishra, who is also the Returning Officer.
• While the value of a legislator's vote would depend on the population of the state he or she belongs to, each Parliamentarian’s vote will carry the same value of 708.
• The term of incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee will come to an end on 25 July 2017.
• The name of the next occupant of the Rashtrapati Bhavan would be known by 5 pm on 20 July.
Who is supporting whom?
Parties backing Kovind
• Almost 40 parties, including those from outside the BJP-led NDA alliance have pledged their support to him.
• The first of such parties is Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (U), which has confirmed its support for Kovind’s candidature, going against its Bihar 'grand alliance' partners, the Congress and Lalu Prasad's RJD.
• The other non-NDA parties that are expected to have voted for Kovind include AIADMK, Biju Janata Dal, Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the Indian National Lok Dal.
• Kovind has also garnered support from BJP's ally Shiv Sena, which voted against its own alliance in the last two Presidential elections.
• Looking at the numbers, the total votes in support for Kovind come up to over 60 percent, which is much higher than the required 50 per cent.
Parties backing Kumar
• The joint opposition candidate Kumar has the support of Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Bahujan Samajwadi Party, All India Trinamool Congress, DMK, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference and the Communist parties.
• Kumar also has the support of the Aam Aadmi Party however, their Punjab leaders led by HS Phoolka may have cross voted for the NDA candidate.
• The Samajwadi Party is also divided in its decision due to rift within the party. While Akhilesh Yadav’s faction has openly supported Kumar, Mulayam Singh Yadav-Shivpal Yadav cadre has expressed support for Kovind.
• Hence, the total electoral votes for the Congress candidate come to a little over 39 percent, way below the 50 per cent mark.
If elected, Ram Nath Kovind will be the second Dalit President of India after KR Narayanan.