New Delhi: The MPs and MLAs are set to cast their votes to elect the new President of India on Monday July 17, 2017. All arrangements are in place in Parliament and respective assemblies in states and union terretories for smooth polling.
While voting to elect the new president will be completed today, counting of votes will be held on July 20. The final result will also be announced on the same day.
The BJP led NDA has fielded former Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind as its candidate whereas the Congress led Opposition has fielded former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as their nominee for the top constintutional post of the country.
The NDA is so sure of the victory of Kovind that Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated him in advance.
At a meeting of the NDA MPs which was also attended by Kovind, Modi recalled that the former Bihar governor had worked as a "sahyogi" (aide) of Morarji Desai when he was the prime minister and said this government will offer all "sahyog" (cooperation) to him.
Modi also said that the campaigns by the two presidential candidates and parties supporting them had been very dignified, and showed the maturity of the Indian democracy.
UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the other hand said the presidential election on Monday demands a "vote of conscience" as it represents a clash of ideas and conflict of disparate values.
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.
"We must have confidence in the values we believe in.
This election represents a clash of ideas, a conflict of disparate values. The election demands a vote of conscience to preserve the India that the Mahatma and the illustrious generation of freedom fighters, joined by thousands upon the numbers of ordinary men and women, fought for," she said.
Sonia Gandhi said the numbers may be stacked against them, but "the battle must be fought and fought hard".
"We cannot and must not let India be hostage to those who wish to impose upon it a narrow-minded, divisive and communal vision," she said.