Voting for the presidential elections was conducted on Monday, with 776 MPs and 4120 MLAs casting their votes for either Ram Nath Kovind, the NDA presidential candidate or the Meira Kumar, the Opposition’s nominee, in a secret ballot. Kovind is likely to emerge victorious, with nearly 70 per cent of the electorate agreeing to support him. The results will be announced on Thursday, three days before President Pranab Mukherjee’s tenure ends.
See what leaders have said about Ram Nath Kovind:
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Law Minister: Kovind will register a “decisive victory” and would turn out as an “honest” president, who will work hard according to the Constitution. He added, “It would have been better if there was consensus (over Kovind’s nomination). But no issues.”
Venkaiah Naidu, Union I&B Minister: Ram Nath Kovind ji will win with a comfortable and respectable margin.
Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal CM: It is a vote against injustice. For the sake of the country, we urge everyone not to support the BJP and to stand beside the people.
Yogi Adityanath, Uttar Pradesh CM: There is no doubt that Ram Nath Kovind will win. This is a matter of pride for the people of Uttar Pradesh, the son of the state is going to become the President.
Omar Abdullah, Former J&K CM: There is hope that those parties, which have till now opposed the BJP and will be the target of the party in the coming state elections, might change their decision (to support Kovind) at the last moment considering the situation in the country. As far as the numbers are concerned, it seems the NDA has an advantage in the electoral college, but in a secret ballot you cannot show your vote to anyone.
Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM: We are supporting Meira Kumar. All should vote following their conscience.
Mayawati, BSP chief: The NDA, the BJP had to field a Dalit candidate for the polls because of the BSP and the other side (the opposition) too. No matter who wins, the President will be from Scheduled Caste. It is a huge victory for our movement and party.
Shivpal Singh Yadav, Samajwadi Party leader: My open support is for Kovindji, who belongs to Kanpur dehat and is our neighbour. Meira Kumar did not seek vote from him and he voted on directions of ‘netaji’ (Mulayam Singh Yadav)”.
Uma Bharti, Union Waters Minister: Kovind is winning elections for sure and the margin will be huge.
Praful Patel, NCP leader: There is no rocket science, Ram Nath Kovind will win today. Because all MPs
don’t necessarily vote only according to conscience, they also vote according to party lines and party lines are divided somewhat on ideology, principles and political positioning.
Somnath Chatterjee, Former Lok Sabha Speaker: It seems NDA Presidential candidate will come through. I am happy that vast majority of votes from West Bengal will go to Meira Kumar.
Vinod Palyekar, GFP leader: We are part of the NDA. There is no question of voting for anyone other than Ram Nath Kovind.
(With inputs from agencies)