Indian lawmakers voting to elect next president

Ahead of voting, UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi said the presidential election demands a “vote of conscience” as it represents a clash of ideas and conflict of disparate values.

The ruling alliance’s candidate Mr. Kovind takes on the Opposition’s nominee Meira Kumar. The Opposition parties have already chosen Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi as their joint nominee for vice-president. “The president should be elected by consensus”, Geeta Koda told the media in Ranchi. The Assistant Returning Officers will also furnish an account of the total votes cast in their states.

Kovind addressed the BJD MLAs and MPs at the Assembly conference hall after the chief minister’s brief introduction.

The former governor is part of the Dalit caste, which makes up an estimated 15% of the subcontinent’s population but remains marginalised.

The parliamentary board meeting on Monday will also be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

During the visit Kovind held meetings with the legislators supporting the Manohar Parrikar-led government including from BJP, Goa Forward Party, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and three Independents.

The results of the poll are expected to be announced on 20 July.

Sources say that at least half-a-dozen TMC MLAs of West Bengal set to cross vote in the presidential polls. “We believe in democracy and that’s why we are contesting”.

Serial-numbered pens with violet ink have been supplied by the EC. The term of present incumbent Pranab Mukherjee comes to an end on the 24th of this month.

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.

“Only these pens can be used for marking the votes”. It has also warned against any whip or directive by political parties to their members to vote in favour of any particular candidate.