Images: UB Photos
Guwahati/New Delhi, July 17: Polling for the Presidents post is going on in the central hall of the Assam Assembly from 10 am and shall close at 5 pm. Two contenders- National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Ram Nath Kovind and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate Meira Kumar are contesting for the post.
Informing about the matter, State Legislative Assembly Principal Secretary Mrigendra Kumar Deka said that vote count from Assam values at 116 votes per MLA and 708 per MP. It must be noted that there are 126 MLAs in the State, 14 Lok Sabha MPs and seven Rajya Sabha MPs.
Deka further stated that two MLAs, Tarun Gogoi and Kamal Shing Narzary, are out of station, and that they will cast their votes in New Delhi. Three MPs – Badruddin Ajmal, Siraj Uddin Ajmal and Radheshyam Biswas shall cast their votes in the State Assembly.
“A set of 10 pens have been sent by the EC for the polling to be held in Assam. No mobile phone or camera has been allowed inside the central hall during the polling,” Deka stated.
Earlier, in the 2012 presidential election, Pranab Mukherjee had defeated late P.A. Sangma with over 69 per cent votes. Pranab Mukherjee’s term expires on July 24, 2017.
Counting of votes will take place in New Delhi on July 20 where all the ballot boxes will be brought from various state capitals. The Electoral College which elects the President through the system of proportional representation comprises of MPs and members of state legislative assemblies.
A total of 4,896 voters – 4,120 MLAs and 776 elected MPs – are eligible to cast their ballot.
Moreover, since the election is through a secret ballot, the parties cannot issue a whip to their members to vote for a particular candidate. A total of 13 vacancies in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies shall be filled up after the presidential elections.
Out of 4,896 voters, 3,460 voters i.e. 71% are crorepatis: States Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) along with National Election Watch (NEW)
Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) along with National Election Watch (NEW) in a revelation have stated that 33% MLAs and MPs have criminal and illicit cases registered against them, and around 71% of MLAs and MPs are crorepatis. Moreover, ADR and NEW have informed that only 9% women MLAs and MPs will cast their vote in the presidential election.
The electorate, comprising elected Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members and members of state assemblies, is tilted in favour of the NDA, but the opposition is still working to seek support of some regional parties in favour of their candidate.
The NDA, led by the BJP, has 5,37,683 votes and support of the Shiv Sena and a shortage of around 12,000 votes. But the promised support from the BJD, the TRS and the YSR Congress and expected backing from the AIADMK factions could offset the shortfall of the presidential votes by a substantial margin.