Voting for 14th Presidential election begins

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The president of this most populous representative democracy in the world is elected by an electoral college consisting elected members of state assembly houses (MLA) and both the houses of parliament (Rajya Sabha and Loksabha) not the nominated MP like actress Rekha, who is now a Rajya Sabha MP, is not allowed to vote in the presidential election.

India is all set to get its 14th President on India as MPs and MLAs cast their votes on Monday.

Former Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind and Meira Kumar are the candidates for the India's top constitutional post this time.

In terms of the value of the votes, the Sikkim Assembly has the lowest of seven and Uttar Pradesh the highest of 208.

The number is clearly tilted towards BJP in Lok Sabha and the party is in power in more states than the opposition parties supporting Kumar.

The election to choose Indias 14th President saw nearly 100 per cent voting on Monday with Lok Sabha Secretary and Returning Officer Anoop Mishra terming it "probably the highest turnout ever".

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Of the 234 MLAs in the state, excluding the RK Nagar constituency, which had fallen vacant after the death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, all others are eligible to vote.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, other ministers, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra and Rajya Sabha member (Independent) A.V. Swamy exercised their franchise at the assembly. The counting of the votes will take place on July 20. The total value of the votes of the Electoral College, which comprises 776 MPs and 4,120 MLAs, is 10,98,903.

The arithmetic in the electoral college favours 72-year-old Kovind, who has received support from several key regional parties outside NDA-fold including Telugu Desam Party, Biju Janata Dal, Telangana Rashtra Samiti, and Janata Dal (U).

Ram Nath Kovind (left) and Meira Kumar.

Her son Ansul said it was not a personal fight "but a fight of ideologies".

Kovind's victory against Kumar is said to be a foregone conclusion because nearly 40 parties, including many from outside the NDA fold, have pledged to support him. We are excited. We are part of it.

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