Presidential election begins in India

Ramnath Kovind was a former Governor of Bihar was announced as the Bharathiya Janatha Party led NDA candidate for President post of India by BJP President Amit Shah.

"It would have been better had the Presidential election taken place through consensus".

"Ram Nath Kovind ji will win with a comfortable and respectable margin", said Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu ahead of the polls.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya and Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar - all Parliamentarians - and all but three Parliamentarians of the Trinamool Congress will cast their vote in their respective home states - Uttar Pradesh, Goa and West Bengal. Let the presidential poll get over first, he said. However, party leader Ashish Saha told ANI that he along with five others voted for Ram Nath Kovind as a protest against the crimes of CPI (M), Congress and TMC. President Pranab Mukherjee's term is expiring on July 25. 10.

The voting process began at 10 AM at room no 54 of the assembly and is scheduled to continue till 5 PM. The NDA has yet to decide on its candidate for the post and a BJP parliamentary board meeting later on Monday is expected to discuss the issue. While two observers were present in Parliament House, one each was deployed in the state assemblies. All the ballot boxes will be brought to Delhi after the election and the counting will happen on 20th of this month. If elected he will be India's second Dalit president.

With almost 70% of the electoral college votes, the NDA candidate for the president, Ram Nath Kovind is all set to become the 14 President of India.

She described the electoral contest as the opposition's fight against a "narrow-minded, divisive and communal vision" while addressing a gathering of opposition parties here where its presidential and vice presidential nominees, Meira Kumar and Gopal Krishna Gandhi respectively, were formally introduced.

In state assemblies, brisk voting was on as MLAs and some MPs also queued up outside their legislative complexes to choose the next President.

Meira Kumar had earlier served as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Since it is a secret ballot, the voters should not disclose whom they have voted for.

Vanessa Coleman