Voting to elect the country’s 14th President began on Monday morning at 10am and will continue till 5pm in the evening.
All elected MPs and member of Legislative Assemblies are eligible to cast their vote to elect the successor of Pranab Mukherjee, who demits office on July 25.
The contest is between National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee Ram Nath Kovind and candidate of several major opposition parties Meira Kumar, who was former Lok Sabha Speaker.
Ram Nath Kovind, 71, is backed not just by the NDA but also several regional parties like Tamil Nadu’s AIADMK. Ruling party sources say they expect enough cross voting in opposition ranks for their candidate to win about 70 per cent of the vote.
A 17-member bloc of opposition parties had announced Meira Kumar’s candidacy days after the BJP named its nominee.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United broke ranks with the opposition to support for Mr Kovind and the BJP’s partner Shiv Sena, which has in the last two Presidential elections voted against its own alliance, too has supported Mr Kovind.