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Presidential Elections 2017: Voting Today, Results On July 20

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| } July 17 , 2017 , 08:20 IST

The elections for the 14th President of India taking place on Monday will see the faceoff between the NDA candidate former Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind and the Opposition's candidate former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, both candidates belonging to the Dalit community.

The results of the presidential election will be declared on July 20, and the new President will take office on July 25, a day after President Pranab Mukherjee's term ends on July 24.

Backed by the ruling BJP, its allies as well as selected other parties, Kovind has a clear edge in the Presidential polls, which Kumar has termed as a 'battle of ideologies'. From the total number of votes of the electoral college (10,98,903), NDA candidate Kovind is expected to cross the half-way mark and secure at least 63 percent votes.

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Polling is to take place between 10 AM and 5 PM in the Parliament House and respective state assemblies and will be conducted by secret ballot. Members of either house of Parliament and state assembly members are eligible to vote. Lok Sabha Secretary General Anoop Mishra is the Returning Officer for the election.

Kovind has received backing from parties like Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and Biju Janata Dal (BJD), who are not allied with BJP, adding to the number supporting him. In addition, the ruling TRS in Telangana, different factions of AIADMK, and YSR Congress have also announced their support for Kovind.

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's decision to back Kovind raised several concerns amongst the Opposition, however, CM Kumar maintained that it was a one-off incidence. He later gave his support for the Opposition's vice presidential candidate, Gopalkrishna Gandhi.

Although the numbers are against Meira Kumar, she conducted extensive campaigning and has appealed to members of the electoral college to 'heed the inner voice of conscience' while voting.

In the last presidential election in 2012, Pranab Mukherjee defeated P.A. Sangma by securing over 69 per cent votes.