Ram Nath Kovind, who has earlier served as the Governor of Bihar, is set to be elected to the post of India’s President. The election was held on July 17 and counting of votes started at 11 am today (July 20). The results of the election will be out by 5 pm today itself. Pranab Mukherjee, the incumbent, would leave office on July 25. Even though a formal announcement is yet to be made in this regard, celebrations have already started at Kovind’s home at Paraunkh close to Kanpur. His supporters and well-wishers have already started playing drums and singing – sweets are being passed around as well. Kovind has been nominated by the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and this is one major factor that has worked in his favour.
The situation as it stands now
It is expected that Kovind would get at least 70% of the votes that have been polled in said election. This is almost given NDA’s massive presence in Lok Sabha as well as none too insignificant presence in Rajya Sabha. He is expected to win easily against Meira Kumar, the candidate fielded for the presidential elections by the main political opposition – United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by Indian National Congress (INC). She has the support of a group of 17 parties. Kumar has previously served as the Speaker of Lok Sabha when UPA was at the helm.
Some facts related to the election
When the counting starts the ballot box from the Parliament is supposed to be opened first. After that the ballot boxes from the states would be counted. This too would be done on an alphabetical order. In all, there would be eight rounds of counting, which itself would be done on four separate tables. The counting will be supervised by Anoop Mishra, the Secretary General of Lok Sabha and the Returning Officer.
This election has seen almost 99% voting in order to select the successor to Pranab Mukherjee. There were 32 polling stations set up in different states including one in the Parliament House. In all, 776 MPs and 4120 MLAs were considered eligible to cast votes in the election taking the grand total to 4896. In case of states with legislative councils, the members of legislative council (MLCs) were not deemed eligible to vote. The worth of an MP’s vote has remained constant at 708 while that of an MLA depended on the population in her or his state.
As per latest information, Kumar was trailing Kovind by at least 37,000 votes. Kumar has however put on a brave face and said that she is not worried with the initial results. She has stated that he has no reason to be upset and that she is a fighter. The former Lok Sabha Speaker has also said that she is fighting from an ideological standpoint as well as because of what her conscience has asked her to do. In the initial round of counting of the MLA’s votes Kovind has scored decisive victories in each and every state.