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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Prez poll: 72% turnout, all eyes on victory margin

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 20, 2012
First Published: 00:04 IST(20/7/2012) | Last Updated: 02:43 IST(20/7/2012)

As polling to elect the 14th President saw high turnout across the country along expected lines, all eyes are now on the victory margin of the UPA's candidate Pranab Mukherjee over his competitor PA Sangma.

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The counting of the votes would begin at 11 am on July 22.

Mukherjee is expected to get more than 7.17 lakh votes out of a total of 10.98 lakh votes in the electoral college comprising of all elected MPs and MLAs. Sangma, backed by ADMK, BJD and a fractured NDA is likely to get at least 3.12 lakh votes.

Even as some parties like TDP, CPI and TRS chose to abstain from the election, polling at Parliament where 699 out of 776 MPs were scheduled to cast their votes saw a 96.6% turnout.

The returning officer, VK Agnihotri told reporters, "According to the information received from 22 states, 2,937 MLAs and 40 MPs had cast their votes. The turnout is 72%."

Agnihotri pointed out that till evening, information was yet to be received from Arunachal, Pradesh, Goa, Haryana, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Odisha and Tripura. But unofficial report from these states said, almost all MLAs have cast their votes.

The electoral college comprised of as many as 4,120 MLAs and 776 MPs with a total vote value of 10.98 lakh votes. Nominated MPs can not participate in presidential poll.

In Parliament, PM Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, BJP leader LK Advani, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and several leaders cast their votes. Home minister P Chidambaram, parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and his deputy Rajiv Shukla were seen busy coordinating with the UPA voters to ensure full participation.

In Kolkata, all Trinamool MPs except rebel Kabir Suman voted. Suman, who was the first to pledge support for Mukherjee preferred to stay back.


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