PM, Sonia, Rahul, Advani cast vote for Presidential election

PM, Sonia, Rahul, Advani cast vote for Presidential election

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, party vice president Rahul Gandhi and veteran BJP leader L K Advani were among those who cast their vote to elect the 14th President of the country . Polling is underway in Parliament and state assemblies for electing the 14th President of the country. PM Modi was among the early voters for the Presidential election in Parliament. Also among the early voters were Congress President Sonia Gandhi, party vice president Rahul Gandhi, veteran BJP leader L K Advani and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah also cast his vote in Parliament for the Presidential polls. As many as 32 polling stations, one in Parliament and 31 in state Assemblies have been created for the polling which began at 1000 hrs and will continue till 1700 hrs across the country. Ruling NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind and joint Opposition candidate Meira Kumar, both Dalits, are pitted against each other in the election. The President is chosen by an electoral college comprising all the MPs and MLAs in the country, with weighted votes apportioned. As many as 233 elected members of the Rajya Sabha, 543 members from the Lok Sabha and 4,120 MLAs from the state Assemblies comprise the electors. The electoral college has a vote value of 10.98 lakh and comprises 4,896 electors - elected members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and elected members of legislative assemblies of states and union territories. According to the Election Commission, since the technology for proportional election and single transferable vote is yet to be developed in the electronic voting machines, the presidential election is taking place through ballot papers. For marking the votes, the Election Commission is providing special pens to the electors in the polling booth along with the ballot paper. "Only these pens can be used for marking the votes. The use of any other pen would render the ballot invalid." Lok Sabha Secretary General has been appointed returning officer for the poll. The counting of votes will take place from 1100 hours on July 20. Incumbent President Pranab Mukherjee's term expires on July 24 and a new President has to take over on July 25.

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