Meira vs Kovind: 99% turnout in Prez polls, SP’s Shivpal votes for BJP nominee

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New Delhi: Close to 99 per cent voting in presidential poll, says Returning Officer Anup Mishra.

“Possibly the highest voter turnout. Nine to 10 states witnessed 100% voting,” Mishra said.

Voting was held today to elect the 14th President of India as members of Parliament and legislative assemblies exercised their franchise at designated centers at Parliament House and state assemblies complex.

A total of 714 MPs voted in the Presidential polls in Parliament House. Samajwadi Party MLA Shivpal Singh Yadav voted for NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind, said a PTI report.

Briefing media in New Delhi, Secretary General, Lok Sabha, Anoop Mishra said, four MLAs also voted in Parliament and 54 MPs exercised franchise in their states.

He said, 100 per cent polling was recorded in Arunachal, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal, Jharkhand, Nagaland, Uttarakhand and Puducherry.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah who is also a legislator from Gujarat cast their vote. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Vice President Rahul Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh and BSP chief Mayawati were among those prominent leaders who cast their votes at Parliament house.

Former Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar are in the direct fight in the polls in the race to the Raisina Hills. The voting concluded at 5pm. Paper ballots were used in this election.

The results will be declared on Thursday.

In Uttar Pradesh, 402 of the 403 MLAs and three MPs exercised their franchise while Samajwadi Party legislator Shivpal Singh Yadav voted for National Democratic Alliance nominee Ram Nath Kovind.

The senior Samajwadi party legislator arrived at the assembly complex along with Independent MLA Aman Mani Tripathi and Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal’s (NISHAD) lone legislator Vijay Mishra, who too told reporters that they supported Kovind.

“My open support is for Kovindji, who belongs to Kanpur dehat and is our neighbour,” Shivpal told reporters, adding, “Meira Kumar did not seek vote from me and I voted on the directions of ‘netaji’ (Mulayam Singh Yadav).”

In Telangana, 117 members of the 119-member Legislative Assembly have utilized their franchise today in the Presidential Poll held for the first time after its formation.

The polling came to an end in Hyderabad with BJP Legislature Party Leader, Kishan Reddy utilizing his franchise before the closure. Earlier in the morning, Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao cast the first vote during the Presidential Poll while Speaker Madhusudhanachary and Opposition leader Jana Reddy followed him.

Except MIM Legislature Party Leader Akbaruddin Owisi and TRS member Manohar Reddy who were away from voting due to health reasons, all other members cast their vote. The ballot boxes will be shifted to Delhi tomorrow amidst tight security.

In Rajasthan, 199 legislators out of 200 have exercised their franchise in the Presidential Poll. Former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has cast his vote in Gujarat. Polling commenced at 10 am and concluded at 2.15 pm.

The Rajasthan Assembly has 200 MLAs in which BJP has 161 MLAs, Congress 24, four of NPP, two each of Zamindara Party and BSP, and seven independent.

In Uttar Pradesh, voting for Presidential Elections concluded peacefully amid tight security. All 403 MLAs along with three MPs cast their votes today.