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Presidential polls: 99% voting done, fates sealed in ballot box

At the Parliament House in New Delhi, 721 MPs and nine MLAs voted, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and other prominent leaders.

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New Delhi:  The election for the 15th President of India was held across the country on Monday, with over 99 per cent votes being polled, and 11 states and UT Puducherry recording 100 per cent voting.

The ECI said polling for election to the office of President of India, which is the highest elective office in the country, concluded successfully in a free, fair and transparent manner at the Parliament House today and in each of the 30 places of poll in State Legislative Assemblies, including the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry. 

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Over 99 per cent electorate cast their votes today, while 100 per cent voting by MLAs was reported from Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Puducherry, Sikkim and Tamil Nadu. 

At the Parliament House in New Delhi, 721 MPs and nine MLAs voted, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and other prominent leaders.

A part of the first floor of Parliament was cordoned and Room no 63 in the Parliament House was converted into a polling center for the electors. 

A red carpet was laid out for the electors, and part of the Parliament building’s first floor, with its iconic red sandstone pillars, was covered with a white curtain, as the area was sanitised for voting.

Huge posters showcasing the historic Rashtrapati Bhawan were also put out outside the room, where the voting took place. Special posters on use of special pens and Do’s and Don’ts for electors for casting of vote were provided by the ECI for displaying at prominent places outside the polling stations.

The voting started at 10 am on Monday and MPs could be seen beelining to cast their votes, despite long queues.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to cast his vote shortly after the polling started. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh also arrived within the first hour of the voting, even as he arrived in a wheelchair. Singh and Modi were among the 350 electors, who exercised their franchise within the first 1.5 hours of the presidential ballot.

Four officers helped Manmohan Singh (89), stand up from his wheelchair and drop the paper in the secret ballot box.

Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav also arrived at the venue in a wheelchair, owing to poor health.  

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi also cast their votes later in the day.

Rajya Sabha Secretary General and Chief Returning Officer for the Presidential polls, PC Mody said out of 736 electors comprising 727 Members of Parliament (MPs) and nine Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs), who were permitted by the ECI to vote at Parliament House, New Delhi, 730 electors – 721 MPs and nine MLAs cast their vote before the closure of poll.

“The total elector turnout at Parliament House was 99.18 percent,” he said.

Ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Draupadi Murmu is fighting against Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha in the Presidential election. The numbers appear to be in favour of Murmu, with around 60 per cent votes belonging to the parties that have supported her candidature.

Ballots from different states will now arrive in New Delhi and will be taken to Parliament House, where counting will take place on July 21.

The term of President Ram Nath Kovind ends on July 24.

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