Kovind will win with more than 70 per cent votes: Gadkari

Frederick Owens
July 17, 2017

Bihar's ruling Janata Dal-United on Sunday did not attend the meeting of opposition parties on the presidential and vice-presidential elections, which was addressed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

The combined Opposition candidate and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has appealed to the legislators to vote according to their conscience.

Kovind, a former governor of Bihar, has a clear edge in the election with support of 63% voters in the electoral college, which has a vote value of 10.98 lakh.

Asked about the party not being present at the meeting, JD-U leader K.C. Tyagi told IANS that it was not a boycott and party leader Sharad Yadav had earlier met Gopalkrishna Gandhi. "This session gives the country an opportunity to elect the president and the vice president".

Immediately after most of the NDA MLAs had cast their votes, most of the opposition MLAs, which included 19 MLAs of JMM, seven of congress, two of Jharkhand Vikash Morcha (Prajatantrik), one each of CPI (ML-Liberation) and Marxist Coordination Committee reached the polling booth.

Kovind's meeting with BJD leaders is a mere formality as the ruling party in Odisha has already lent its support to the NDA's presidential nominee.

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The results will be declared on 20 July.

Speaking to ANI, Pradhan said, "The Ministers are voting in the Sansad Bhavan with excitement and honour. Today, the collegium will take a decision and you all know I am a candidate in this contest to fight the battle of ideology", Kumar said.

Sources say that at least half-a-dozen TMC MLAs of West Bengal set to cross vote in the presidential polls.

Serial-numbered pens with violet ink have been supplied by the EC. In the last presidential election in 2012, Pranab Mukherjee had defeated P A Sangma and got over 69 per cent votes. Use of any other ink might lead to disqualification of the vote.

Following this, the President elect will subsequently leave for Rashtrapati Bhawan after the oath taking ceremony convened by the Chief Justice of India of July 25. "Whether to vote for him or not will be decided by my party and I will stand by my party decision and can not promise my support to NDA's Presidential candidate until party high command makes a final decision".

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