70 Uttarakhand legislators vote to elect next president
The Uttarakhand assembly’s 70 members and an MLA from Bihar on Monday voted in Vidhan Sabha Bhawan here to elect India’s next presidentdehradun Updated: Jul 17, 2017 20:23 IST
The Uttarakhand assembly’s 70 members and an MLA from Bihar on Monday voted in Vidhan Sabha Bhawan here to elect India’s next president, who is certain to come from the Dalit community.
NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind, ex-Bihar governor and a Dalit, is poised to win the presidential poll, where his challenger is Meira Kumar, the Congress-led opposition’s nominee and also a Dalit.
The MLAs from the hill state joined their counterparts across the country and members of parliament to choose the country’s next first citizen, who will succeed incumbent Pranab Mukherjee.
BJP leader and tourism minister Satpal Maharaj was the first to cast his vote after voting began at 10 am. Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat arrived about two hours later to cast his vote.
Virendra Sinha, a Rashtriya Janata Dal legislator from Bihar, also cast his vote in Vidhan Sabha Bhawan here. He is in the city for some “personal work”.
In the 70-member state assembly, 57 legislators are from the ruling BJP, 11 from the Congress and two are Independents. Pritam Singh Panwar and RS Kaira - Independent MLAs - had declared their support to the NDA candidate.
As per the constitutional provisions, each member of the assembly carries the weight-age of 64 points. So, the total weight-age of the BJP’s 57 legislators and two Independents comes to 3,776 points. Besides, the state’s five MPs, at present all from the BJP, carry weight-age of 728 points.
The BJP, owing to the majority it enjoys in many state assemblies and the Lok Sabha, is confident about the NDA candidate’s victory.
“His (Kovind) victory in the presidential election is a foregone conclusion… (Apart from 57 BJP legislators) two Independents too are supporting his candidature,” chief minister Rawat said before casting his vote.
Tourism minister Maharaj echoed his view. “Kovind ji as the president and as the supreme commander of the armed forces will help implement the vision Prime Minister Narendra Modi has envisioned for the country’s development,” Maharaj said.