Nationalist Congress Party leader Praful Patel on Monday said he was confident that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind would win the presidential poll, PTI reported. However, the NCP has supported the Opposition’s candidate, Meira Kumar in the election.

“There is no rocket science, Ram Nath Kovind will win today,” he said. “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.”

Samajwadi Party rift over Kovind

Meanwhile, the rift between Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav came to the fore as both factions stood divided with their decision on whom to support. Senior party leader Shivpal Yadav said the party would vote for Kovind, but former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had instructed his party MLAs to vote only for Kumar, PTI reported.

Shivpal Yadav said that the faction of the Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav had not consulted Mulayam Singh Yadav over the presidential elections, Firstpost reported.

Some TMC members also vote for Kovind

Suspended Tripura Trinamool Congress MLAs have also decided to vote for the BJP’s candidate, though the party has extended support to Meira Kumar. “By voting for Ram Nath Kovind, we have registered our protest against crimes of CPI (M), Congress and the TMC,” suspended MLA Ashish Saha told ANI.

The numbers are stacked against Kumar as almost 40 parties have pledged their support for NDA’s candidate Kovind. These parties include regional ones like the factions of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, YSR Congress, Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), Biju Janata Dal, Telangana Rashtra Samiti and independent representatives.

The voting will be held between 10 am and 5 pm. Of the total voters eligible to exercise their choice in the election, 4,120 are MLAs and 776 are elected MPs. The election is being held through a secret ballot at 32 polling stations.

Forty-one Lok Sabha members and Rajya Sabha members have been allowed to cast their presidential vote from state legislative Assemblies, while five MLAs will vote from Parliament.