Presidential election 2017: India is set to get its 14th President as the crucial poll will be held today. NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind, who was picked by BJP, is set to become the head of state by defeating Opposition nominee Meira Kumar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Sunday congratulated Kovind in advance. Congress president Sonia Gandhi called for a vote of conscience while terming the contest a clash of ideas and a conflict of disparate values, according to Indian Express report. PM Modi also congratulated all the parties and asked them properly train their MPs and MLAs so that not a single vote is wasted, the report says.
As President Pranab Mukherjee’s term is set to end, a total of 95 candidates had filed nominations for the country’s top Constitutional post. Out of 95 candidates, 93 were rejected. While 17 opposition parties have backed Kumar, Kovind is set to get nearly 70 per cent of the electoral college votes.
The Opposition’s campaign had been hit by the JD(U) after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar threw his weight behind Kovind. Taking the JD(U)’s cue, other parties had later lined up behind Kovind.
Kovind, who had started with 28 parties backing him, now has the support of 42, as per IE report. As part of his campaign, Kovind visited 27 states, including in the Northeast. The BJP leader said he got a good response everywhere. Meira Kumar also campaigned across states, starting from iconic Gandhi Ashram in Sabarmati.
“What is at stake is our future, and the values we cherish and must uphold, especially at this time of grave disquiet. This election represents a clash of ideas, a conflict of disparate values. The election demands a vote of conscience to preserve the India that the Mahatma and that illustrious generation of freedom fighters, joined by thousands upon thousands of ordinary men and women, fought for.” Sonia Gandhi had said yesterday.