Voting for next president ends, Droupadi Murmu holds edge over Yashwant Sinha
The BJP has nominated Murmu, the former Jharkhand governor, while the Opposition has picked the former Union minister.
Nearly 4,800 MP and MLAs voted to elect the next President of India on Monday. Polling began at 10 am in Parliament House and across state legislative Assemblies and ended at 5 pm.
A turnout of 99.18% was recorded at Parliament, Chief Returning Officer PC Mody said, according to the Hindustan Times.
The counting of votes will take place on July 21. The next president will take oath on July 25.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and chief ministers from across the country cast their votes on Monday morning.
For the presidential polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party has nominated former Jharkhand governor Droupadi Murmu, while the Opposition has picked former Union minister Yashwant Sinha.
Murmu, whose vote share has now crossed over 60%, is likely to have an edge over Sinha in the polls.
Several regional parties such as the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, the Biju Janata Dal in Odisha, Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party and Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh, Bahujan Samaj Party, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu, Janata Dal (Secular) and Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in Jharkhand, and the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh have announced their support to Murmu.
The 64-year-old is from Odisha and served as the governor of Jharkhand from 2015 to 2021. If elected, Murmu will become the first woman from the tribal community to occupy India’s top constitutional post.
On the other hand, Sinha has maintained that the presidential election is not a contest between individuals but a battle between two opposing ideologies.
During his campaign, the former Union minister had said that “leaders of one ideology” are hellbent on ignoring the Constitution and want the president to merely serve as a rubber stamp.
If elected, Sinha said, he would uphold the basic values and guiding ideals of the Constitution without fear or favour.
So far he has garnered support from the Telangana Rashtra Samiti in Telangana, Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra, Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar, and the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen, besides other leading Opposition parties.
Sinha was chosen after Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah and former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi declined to run for the polls as the common candidate of 13 Opposition parties.
A former BJP leader, Sinha turned into a vocal critic of the Narendra Modi regime and criticised the government on a number of contentious matters like the Citizenship Amendment Act, abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the Rafale fighter jet deal.