Presidential poll begins in Mumbai, Fadnavis casts vote

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Polling will start at 1000 hrs and will end at 1700 hrs and later the ballot boxes would be taken to Delhi for counting by service flight in the evening.

According to the political calculation, the NDA candidate Ramnath Kovind, would get majority of votes from his native state in the direct contest against opposition candidate and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was addressing an all-party meeting ahead of the Parliament session, said it would have been better if the President had been chosen by consensus. "So it is very important that we protect and preserve it", said Kumar.

The presidential election on Monday recorded probably the highest ever voting turnout of close to 99%, with all eligible voters casting their votes in at least 10 States and one Union Territory.

The election to choose Indias 14th President saw nearly 100 per cent voting on Monday with Lok Sabha Secretary and Returning Officer Anoop Mishra terming it "probably the highest turnout ever". The Electoral College which elects the President through the system of proportional representation comprises MPs and members of state legislative assemblies.

If elected, 71-year-old Kovind will be the second Dalit to become President after K.R. Narayanan, who was the 10th President.

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The 14th Presidential election held on Monday witnessed almost 99 per cent voting. An official said that MPs and MLAs will not be allowed to carry their personal pens inside the voting hall.

The value of each MLA's vote in Telangana is 132.

The pens for the presidential polls were introduced following a controversy that broke out during voting in the Rajya Sabha polls in Haryana in September 2016. Out of the 245 sanctioned strength of MPs in the Rajya Sabha 12 of them are nominated by the president, thus the total number of Rajya Sabha MPs counted for presidential election comes at 233. These include 445 Lok Sabha and 194 Rajya Sabha MPs as well as 2,721 MLAs. That translates to 5,49,452 votes.

To become the next president, either of the candidates needs to secure at least one vote more than 50 percent of the total votes cast.

Mayawati also claimed it was because of her party that the NDA and the opposition had to field candidates from the community.

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