Voting Underway to Elect India’s 15th President; PM Modi, Manmohan Singh Cast Vote


As many as 350 electors, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh, cast their vote in the first 1.5 hours of the presidential poll, sources said Monday.

Voting for the presidential election in which NDA candidate Droupadi Murmu is pitted against joint opposition pick Yashwant Sinha began on Monday morning with Prime Minister Modi being the first to cast his vote. The voting process would conclude at 5 pm.

Voting was also underway in various state assemblies for the presidential poll and the early voters in the states included Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

Nearly 4,800 elected MPs and MLAs are entitled to vote in the election, but nominated MPs and MLAs, and members of Legislative Councils are not.

Besides Room number 63 on the first floor of Parliament House, which has been converted into a polling station, voting is simultaneously taking place at various state assemblies. In the national capital, voting is also underway at the Delhi legislative assembly.

Counting of votes will be held on July 21. The system of secret ballot is followed in the presidential election, and parties cannot issue whips to their MPs and MLAs with regard to voting.

The value of the vote of a Member of Parliament has gone down to 700 from 708 in this presidential poll due to the absence of a legislative assembly in Jammu and Kashmir.

The value of vote of an MLA varies in different states. In Uttar Pradesh, the value of vote of each MLA stands at 208, followed by 176 in Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu.

In Maharashtra, it is 175. In Sikkim, the value of vote per MLA is seven, while it is nine in Nagaland and eight in Mizoram.

In accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote, every elector can mark as many preferences, as there are candidates contesting the election. These preferences for the candidates are to be marked by the elector, by placing the figures 1,2,3, 4, 5 and so on, against the names of the candidates, in the order of preference, in the space provided in column 2 of the ballot paper.

According to Election Commission’s directions, while MPs will get a green-coloured ballot paper, the MLAs will get a pink ballot paper to cast their vote. Separate colours help the returning officer ascertain the value of vote of each MLA and MP.

Seeking to maintain secrecy of voting, the EC has issued a specially designed pen with violet ink to enable voters mark their ballot papers in the presidential poll.

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