Mon, 18 Jul 2022 06:19 PM IST
The polling for the Presidential elections 2022 concluded on Monday with a voter turnout of 99.18 per cent in the Parliament, said Chief Returning Officer PC Mody, adding that six MPs, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sunny Deol, didn't cast their votes.
Speaking to news agency PTI, Mody said the ballot boxes from across the state legislative assemblies will arrive in Delhi via road and air by Monday evening. "Out of 736 electors (727 MPs,9 MLAs) permitted by the EC to vote in Parliament in Presidential poll, 730 (721 MPs,9 MLAs) voted."
The polling had began at 10 am and continued till 5 pm. The counting of votes will now take place on July 21 while the next President will be sworn in on July 25.
This year, the battle is between Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Draupadi Murmu and opposition's Yashwant Sinha. However, Murmu clearly holds an edge over Sinha, owing to the vast majority of the BJP in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
In addition to that, many regional parties such as YSR Congress, Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Shiv Sena, Akali Dal, and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) have backed Murmu, strengthening her chances to become India's 15th President.
The BJP is also confident about 64-year-old Murmu's victory and said that the former Jharkhand Governor will win with a big margin. "Our sister from the tribal community will now become the President. MLAs in Madhya Pradesh are voting for her. I would like to appeal to everyone to rise above the boundaries of parties, vote on the basis of our conscience, and contribute to make Draupadi Murmu the President," Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, as reported by news agency ANI.
Though it is expected that Murmu will win easily, there was an element of political excitement with speculation about cross-voting in some places. In Odisha, Congress MLA Mohammed Moquim has said that he has voted for Murmu.
Similarly, in Gujarat, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Kandhal S Jadeja has said that he has also voted for Murmu. In Haryana, Congress MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi, who had cross-voted in last month's Rajya Sabha polls, indicated that he had supported the ruling NDA candidate.
"Like Rajya Sabha, I have cast my vote in this election too as per my conscience," he said. Asked about his future course of action, he merely said, "I will reveal this soon."
In Mumbai, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil was confident some Congress legislators, who were absent during the Eknath Shinde government's trust vote, will vote in favour of Murmu.
"I am sure some Congress MLAs who remained absent during the vote of confidence will apply their conscience this time as well," Patil told reporters. The Congress, he said, can't guard its own MLAs.