Polling underway for Presidential elections
Delhi: Polling on Thursday began in Parliament House and state
capitals for electing a new President in a race that appears clearly in
favour of UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee, who faces PA Sangma sponsored by
some opposition parties.
Brisk polling was witnessed in the early hours with MK Alagiri of DMK,
opposition BJD MPs led by B Mahtab and Pratap Singh Bajwa of the Congress
among the early voters.
The numbers are heavily stacked in Mukherjee's favour, who whipped
coalition partners into shape and quelled scandals as the Congress party's
chief firefighter for years.
As many as 4,896 lawmakers -- 776 MPs and 4,120 MLAs -- are eligible to
vote in Parliament and state assemblies. The total vote value is 10.98
lakh and a winning candidate needs to get 5,49,442 vote value if all of
them exercise franchise.
UPA election managers are claiming a runaway victory for Mukherjee who is
expected to get around 7.5 lakh vote value. The votes will be counted on
Sunday and the result is expected to be known by early evening.
The run-up to the Presidential poll saw its twists and turns with key UPA
ally Trinamool Congress first declaring its opposition to Mukherjee only
to take "the painful decision" to back him. Besides the UPA and its four
supporting parties -- SP, BSP, RJD, JD(S) -- NDA members JD(U) and Shiv
Sena as also the CPI(M) and Forward Bloc have declared their support for
The CPI, RSP, TDP and TRS which together have about 36,000 votes are
likely to abstain from voting. There are around 32,000 votes with smaller
parties who have no presence in Parliament but have legislators in the
Sangma, a former Lok Sabha speaker, jumped into the fray playing the
tribal card with initial support of the BJD and AIADMK. The BJP and Akali
Dal decided to back Sangma, who quit the NCP, the party he founded with
Sharad Pawar, to contest the election.
With the support of SP (66,688 vote value), BSP (45,473), JD-U (40,737),
Shiv Sena (18,495), JD-S (6,138) and CPI-M and Forward Bloc (around
41,000), Mukherjee can expect vote share of around 7.5 lakh. In the
electoral arithmetic, Sangma is expected to be way behind Mukherjee and is
likely to garner around 3.15 lakh vote value.
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