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Last Updated Saturday July 22 2017 06:17 AM IST

Presidential poll sees near 100pc voting

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India to elect its next president today NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind and opposition nominee Meira Kumar.

New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram: The election to choose India's 14th president saw almost 100 percent voting on Monday with Lok Sabha secretary and returning officer, Anoop Mishra, terming it "probably the highest turnout ever".

Mishra said a total of 717 MPs and five MLAs were supposed to cast their votes at Parliament House. Of these, 714 MPs and four MLAs voted here.

He said that 10 states - Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Nagaland, Uttarakhand, and the Union Territory of Puducherry - recorded 100 percent voting, and added that the rest of the states also recorded "almost 100 percent" voting.

Mishra said the final figures from four states -- Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur and Tripura -- were still awaited.

Voting was held in 32 polling stations -- one in Parliament House and rest one each in state legislative assemblies. Polling started at 10 am and ended at 5 pm.

A total of 776 MPs and 4,120 MLAs were eligible to vote. The total value of votes of the electoral college is 10,98,903.

How Kerala voted

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, leader of opposition in the state assembly, Ramesh Chennithala, and legislators from the state cast their vote in the presidential election.

Pinarayi and his cabinet colleagues along with CPM-led ruling LDF legislators exercised their vote at the state assembly in Thiruvananthapuram.

CPM veteran and former chief minister V.S. Achuthanandandn and Congress leader Oommen Chandy were among prominent MLAs to cast their votes, assembly officials said.

The lone BJP MLA O. Rajagopal was among the early voters.

In the 140-member assembly, Vengara seat in Malapuram is vacant after incumbent MLA P. K. Kunhalikutty resigned after his election to the Lok Sabha from Malappuram Lok Sabha seat that fell vacant following death of IUML leader E. Ahmed.

From Kerala, NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind is only expected to secure the vote of the lone BJP MLA.

The ruling CPM-led LDF and Congress-headed UDF opposition had announced their decision to back the united opposition candidate and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar.

Kerala Congress(M) led by former finance minister K.M. Mani, which had snapped ties with the UDF, also extended its support to Kumar.

Similarly, the lone independent MLA P. C. George had also announced his backing to Kumar.

Result on July 20

The ballot boxes from the states will be brought to Delhi for counting on July 20. Results will be declared that day.

NDA's candidate Ram Nath Kovind -- former Bihar governor -- has an advantage over Meira Kumar -- a former Lok Sabha Speaker -- as the numbers are stacked in favor of the ruling NDA.

The BJP and allies have nearly 63 percent of the vote while the Congress-led opposition has a little over 35 percent. Independents and other smaller parties, who have not made their choice known, have two percent.

President Pranab Mukherjee demits office on July 25.

In the 2012 elections, Pranab Mukherjee garnered 7,13,763 votes, while Pratibha Patil secured 6,38,116 votes before that in 2007. Both Mukherjee and Patil were Congress nominees.

This time, the Lok Sabha secretary general is the returning officer. Last time, it was the secretary general of the Rajya Sabha.

The Election Commission has barred MPs and MLAs from carrying their personal pens inside the voting chamber. They will have to mark their ballot with specially designed marker pens.

(With inputs from agencies)

Read more: Indian Presidential Election | Numbers favor NDA's Kovind in prez poll

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