President’s Election 2022: The elections were held today to elect the 15th President of India. The contest is seen as a complete overhaul, counting the parties that declared support for Ms. Murmu.
President’s Election 2022
During the day, 730 voters, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former PM Manmohan Singh, cast their vote.
Eight lawmakers decided to abstain. These include two MPs each from BJP and Shiv Sena and one each from Congress, Shiv Sena, Samajwadi Party, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party and Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM.
Several MLAs, including one from Congress and two from Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party, claimed on record that they had voted for the NDA candidate.
No whip can be issued for presidential elections ad lawmakers are allowed to vote “according to their discretion”.
Draupadi Murmu, 64, was a strong contender for the country’s highest post before the 2017 presidential election, with Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit, named as the government’s choice.
The NDA’s choice of Ms Murmu – a tribal woman from Odisha and former Jharkhand governor – is seen as a well thought out move, supported not only by Jharkhand’s ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, but also by Odisha’s Naveen Patnaik , which is seen as a fence – sitter
Ms Murmu has also been assured of support by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has been on the same page as ally BJP until recently.
Both factions of the Shiv Sena – whose split and the subsequent collapse of the Maharashtra government have been in the news for weeks – are also expected to support Ms. Murmu.
While the Eknath Shinde faction, in alliance with the BJP, was supporting the NDA candidate, the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction, which was backing opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha, decided to switch after 16 MPs met Uddhav Thackeray and suggested that they should vote for Ms. Murmu.
The opposition settled on Mr Sinha – a former Union minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government who later joined the Trinamool Congress – after three proposed candidates said no.
Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, former governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah had refused, citing various reasons.