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Presidential Election 2017: West Bengal Likely to Choose Meira Kumar Over Ram Nath Kovind

In the 295-member Bengal Assembly, BJP's position is too weak to be a decisive factor in the Presidential polls.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:July 17, 2017, 12:06 PM IST
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Presidential Election 2017: West Bengal Likely to Choose Meira Kumar Over Ram Nath Kovind
File photo of Congress presidential candidate Meira Kumar.
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Kolkata: Opposition Presidential candidate Meira Kumar is likely to get the maximum number of votes from West Bengal as most of the political parties including the Left front are expected to vote for her on Monday.

The former Lok Sabha speaker who is contesting against Ram Nath Kovind has the support of 18 political parties including Trinamool Congress.

In the 295-member Bengal Assembly, BJP's position is too weak to be a decisive factor in the Presidential polls.

Since morning, the state Assembly has geared up to hold the Presidential Election. Two ballot boxes and special pens for the electors to mark their votes have reached Kolkata.

“No MPs and MLAs will be allowed to carry their own pens inside the voting chamber and will have to cast their vote with this special pen,” Assembly sources told News18.

Despite BJP's weak presence in the state, Kovind is expected to get support from six legislators including three from the BJP and three from its political ally Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).

Out of 16 Assembly Seats, 12 are with TMC, one with the Congress and three with the CPI (M).

The value of one vote of a Rajya Sabha or a Lok Sabha member is 708. In Bengal, the vote value of each legislator is 151.

The election will be conducted via secret ballot process and there is no whip.

On July 4, Meira Kumar came to Kolkata and sought support from the legislators and MPs of Trinamool Congress, Left and Congress parties in the state.

She then termed Mamata Banerjee as a fighter and a mass leader. “I had a word with her and she promised to extend her support to me,” Kumar said.

Meira further added that she was overwhelmed with the affection she got from the Congress MPs and MLAs.

On June 19, when BJP sprung a surprise by announcing Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as its pick for the presidential elections, Mamata Banerjee hinted that TMC is not going to support him.

Mamata stressed that the Presidential candidate must be acceptable to all and he/she should be a secular person and known to all.

“In order to support someone, we must know the person. Candidate should be someone who will be beneficial for the country. I am not for a moment saying that the Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind is unfit to be the President. I have spoken to few other Opposition leaders, they are also surprised. There are other big Dalit leaders in the country. Just because he was the leader of Dalit Morcha of BJP they have made him the candidate,” she had said.

| Edited by: Puja Menon
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