It’s Droupadi Murmu vs Yashwant Sinha: India’s 15th President set to be elected today
Murmu’s victory will be marked by several firsts. She will be the first President born in Independent India. At 64, Murmu will also be the youngest occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan, besides being the first tribal leader to hold the country’s top office.
Sinha is being backed by the Congress, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Trinamool Congress, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Akhilesh Yadav led-Samajwadi Party, National Conference, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), Rashtriya Janata Dal and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF). The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is the latest to join the Opposition list.
The call for a joint opposition candidate for presidential polls was led by West Bengal chief minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee. Sinha, a former Union minister and ex-IAS officer, was the fourth choice after the first three names – Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdullah and Gopalkrishna Gandhi – opted out of the race.
Murmu’s victory will be marked by several firsts. She will be the first President born in Independent India. At 64, Murmu will also be the youngest occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan, besides being the first tribal leader to hold the country’s top office, and the second woman President of India.
A lowdown on the voting process
- Voting will take place in Parliament House and legislative assemblies between 10am to 5pm.
- The system of secret ballot is followed and parties cannot issue whip to their MPs and MLAs with regard to voting. A whip is a method of ensuring that members of the party vote according to the party platform, rather than according to their own individual ideology.
- Seeking to maintain secrecy of voting, the Election Commission has issued a specially designed pen with violet ink to enable voters to mark their ballot papers in the presidential poll.
- According to the EC’s directions, while MPs will get a green-coloured ballot paper, 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.
- The value of the vote of a member of Parliament 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.
The results of elections for the President of India will be out on July 21. The term of President Ram Nath Kovind concludes on July 24.