14th Presidential Elections: Voting Starts

14th Presidential Elections: Voting Starts

"I do not think so at all", Patnaik told newspersons while replying a question on the possibility of the cross- voting in the Presidential polls. CM K Chandrasekhar Rao, who wants all his party legislators and MPs to cast their vote for Kovind without fail, expressed displeasure at absence of minister and a few legislators. TRS and BJD have already declared their support to Kovind and YSR Congress, headed by Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, has also reiterated its support to the BJP candidate. The total number of electors (4120 MLAs and 776 MPs) will be sharing the onus of electing India's next President. The Opposition parties are tactically using these polls as a "political fight" to signal their coming together.

JD (U) leader and Bihar chief minister, Nitish Kumar, deciding to back Kovind is seen as a biggest setback for the opposition. Even YSRCP Chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy too said that he is supporting NDA's candidate.

Meira, who has been campaigning across state capitals, has described the Presidential contest as a "battle of ideologies".

Kovind's opponent, Kumar, is the daughter of freedom fighter Babu Jagjivan Ram.

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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. Attacking the NDA-led government, she said that the country can not be hostage to those "who wish to impose upon it a narrow-minded, divisive and communal vision".

NDA's presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind will visit Gujarat tomorrow as part of his nation-wide tour to seek support from elected representatives. The President will be elected by the Electoral college comprising of all elected members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Legislative Assemblies of states and Assemblies of Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry. Thirty-three observers have been appointed by the EC to oversee the election. The Assistant Returning Officers will also furnish an account of the total votes cast in their states. The voting has been taking place in Room no 62 in Parliament.

Some presidents, such as Pranab Mukherjee, have tried to act as conscience-keepers, using their constitutional authority to defend India's founding principles as a secular, diverse democracy. With this, Kovind has been assured support of these MLAs, including 161 of BJP.

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