The Opposition's campaign dealt a severe blow by the JD (U), a Congress ally in Bihar, as it chose to back Kovind after being the first to moot the idea of putting up a joint candidate against the NDA's.
It is reported by the media that the process of voting shall begin by 10 AM in the morning here today. There are around 776 MP's and 4120 MLA's who will decide next president in a secret ballot vote.
"Probably for the first time no party made any undignified or unwarranted comment on the rival candidate", said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was among the early voters on Monday morning.
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India's federal and state lawmakers voted on Monday (July 17) for the country's 14th President, with ruling party candidate Ram Nath Kovind expected to edge out opposition party candidate Meira Kumar.
Members vote in one of the 32 polling stations specially set up in the state assemblies and in parliament between 10am and 5pm. He was spotted with an umbrella as there is cloudy weather in the city.
Kovind addressed the BJD MLAs and MPs at the Assembly conference hall after the chief minister's brief introduction.
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Kovind, 72, who is from the low-caste Dalit community, is facing Meira Kumar, a former parliament speaker and a fellow-Dalit backed by the opposition Congress party. The total strength of Electoral college is 10,98,903 votes. In the last presidential election in 2012, Pranab Mukherjee had defeated P.A. Sangma and got over 69 per cent votes. In a career spanning over two decades, he has been elected twice to the Upper House of Parliament and served as national spokesperson of the BJP. "I am confident Kovind after becoming the president will take nation to new heights of development", said Raje, adding that BJP declared him as its candidature due to his achievements in public life.
The victor of Monday's contest will be India's second president belonging to the Dalit community, after KR Narayanan, who was president between 1997-2002.
"Alluding to the NDA nominee having an edge in both elections, Sonia said: ".the numbers may be against us.
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