Presidential polls: Voters to get special pens

Presidential polls: Voters to get special pens

The President is chosen by an electoral college comprising all the MPs and MLAs in the country, with weighted votes apportioned.

The poll process at the state assembly is being conducted by Returning Officer Amiya Kumar Sarangi and Asst Returning Officer Bhabani Shankar Senapati.

Shah, who is an MLA from Gujarat and was allowed to cast his vote in Parliament, also used his franchise in the contest between Kovind and Kumar, who was a former Lok Sabha Speaker.

The voting for the presidential election started at the Vidhan Bhawan in South Mumbai this morning with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is an MLA from Nagpur, among the early voters.

MLAs from different states have different vote values depending on the population of the state.

As voting picked up, many MPs, including women members, were seen queuing up in Parliament House outside the polling booth in Room No 62 for the voting that ends at 5 p.m. It asks them to use only EC-issued pens and warns that no whip or directive can be issued to party members to vote in favour of any candidate.

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As many as 3,460 members of parliament and members of legislative assemblies have declared assets worth more than Rs. 1 crore. The total value of the votes of 403 UP MLAs is 83,824. Out of the 245 sanctioned strength of MPs in the Rajya Sabha 12 of them are nominated by the president, thus the total number of Rajya Sabha MPs counted for presidential election comes at 233.

Though the SP, BSP, Congress and RLD members have announced their support for the opposition candidate but cross voting could be a major problem for the SP and other parties. Considering the scenario, the NDA candidate has the advantage from the opposition's joint candidate, however neither the NDA nor the UPA enjoys simple majority at its own.

Ruling NDA's Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind has clear edge in terms of numbers.

If elected, 71-year-old Kovind will be the second Dalit to become President after K.R. Narayanan, who was the 10th President.

There are 16 Lok Sabha members and 10 Rajya Sabha members from Telangana.