New Delhi: India will get its 14th President on Thursday when counting of votes for presidential elections is held. The name of the next occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan is likely to be officially known by evening, but NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind’s win over opposition candidate Meira Kumar has been a forgone conclusion.
Besides NDA constituents, some opposition parties, including the JD(U), also broke ranks to vote for Kovind. With the numbers in its favour, the BJP will watch the counting for the victory margin.
According to Lok Sabha secretary general Anoop Mishra, who is also the returning officer of the election, the counting would begin at 11 am. First, the ballot box of Parliament House would be opened, and then, the ballot boxes received from states would be counted on alphabetical basis.
The votes would be counted on four separate tables and there would be eight rounds of counting.
An Election Commission official who has witnessed two presidential polls said, results are usually declared around 5pm.
Close to 99 per cent voting was recorded for electing India's next president.
Thirty two polling stations including the one in Parliament House, were set up in various states.
A total of 4,896 voters — 4,120 MLAs and 776 elected MPs — were eligible to cast their ballot. MLCs of states with legislative council are not part of the electoral college.
While the value of an MLA's vote depends on the population of the state he or she belongs to, the value of an MP's vote remains the same at 708.
In the electoral arithmetic, Kovind has a distinct advantage over his rival as parties like the Janata Dal(United) and the Biju Janata Dal, otherwise not allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party, had decided to vote for him.
The JD(U) has about 1.91% of electoral college votes, while the BJD of Odisha has 2.99%.
In addition, the ruling Telengana Rashtra Samithi in Telangana (2%), different factions of AIADMK (5.39%), and the YSR Congress (1.53%) also had announced their backing for Kovind.
The value of vote of an MP is 708 while that of an assembly member varies from state to state depending on the size of its population.
The total value of votes of the presidential electoral college is 10,98,903, and the NDA candidate is slated to get over 63 per cent votes.
In the last presidential election in 2012, Pranab Mukherjee had defeated PA Sangma and got over 69 per cent votes.