The election to appoint the next President of India will take place on Monday at Parliament House in New Delhi, and in all State Legislative Assembly Secretariats. The race to Raisina Hills will pit Opposition nominee and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar against the Center’s pick and former Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind. While the polling is largely being viewed as a contest between two Dalit leaders, Kumar, at a conference earlier this month, had said that it is a “battle of ideologies”.
Last week, Kovind said the Presidential post is above party politics. “A president never belongs to any party. All people irrespective of caste, creed and religion, state are equal. Vote bank is not important for me but development matters.”
The President of India will be elected by the by Electoral college comprising of all elected members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Legislative Assemblies of States. To become the president, either of the candidate needs to secure at least one vote more than 50 per cent of the total votes polled. The results of the election will be announced on Thursday, five days before President Pranab Mukherjee’s his term expires.
Kovind, who recently concluded his visit to Gujarat, his “second home”, has received support from several regional heavy-weights, including TDP, TRS, BJD, YSRCP, LJP and Shiv Sena. Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) has also indicated that it would support Kovind’s candidature.
Opposition’s selection Meira Kumar will be backed by parties like TMC, CPM, RJD, SP, BSP. Aam Aadmi Party has also hinted that it will support Kumar in her bid to become the next President. But senior AAP leader H S Phoolka, in a recent interview, said that he will not vote for Meira Kumar. “I have been closely associated with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots (case) and if I vote for the Congress then people will think that the party has been pardoned for these riots. It can never be forgiven for it. Therefore, I will not vote for the Congress candidate,” Phoolka said.