AMN / New Delhi
The voting to elect the next President of India is underway in Parliament and state assemblies. Among the first ones to cast their votes was Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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.
There is a straight fight for the top constitutional post between NDA candidate Ramnath Kovind and Opposition nominee Meira Kumar.
Counting of the votes will be held on Thursday. The term of present incumbent Pranab Mukherjee comes to an end on the 24th of this month. Special arrangements have been made at Parliament House and State Assemblies for the polling. The President will be elected by the Electoral college comprising of all elected members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Legislative Assemblies of states and Assemblies of Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry.
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 candidate who secures at least one vote more than 50 per cent of the total votes will enter into the Majestic Rashtrapati Bhavan. A total of four thousand 896 voters comprising 776 elected MPs and 4120 MLAs will be given a special marker to sign their ballot.
Though the election is through a secret ballot, the parties cannot issue a whip to their members to vote for a particular candidate. The nation will get its new President on Thursday.