Next President of India: Kovind heading for a comfortable win
Ram Nath Kovind is heading for an impressive win in the elections to the next President of India. Kovind, the former governor of Bihar was selected by the NDA for the Presidential race last week. He is pitched against the opposition's candidate Meira Kumar.
Kovind is set to bag a little over 62 per cent of the votes in the electoral college. He is however likely to fall short of the 69 per cent mark polled by Pranab Mukherjee in 2012.
The odds are stacked in favour of Kovind, who is set to garner nearly seven lakh votes, or around two-thirds of the 10,98,903 votes of the electoral college.
The joint Opposition candidate, Meira Kumar, is likely to bag nearly four lakh votes. She has the support of many regional parties such as the RJD, the SP, the BSP and the Trinamool Congress and the CPI(M).
Chances of Kovind registering a comfortable win brightened after some parties not in the NDA such as the JD(U), the BJD, the AIADMK, the TRS and the YSR Congress extended support to him.
Aware of its chances in the July 17 presidential election, the Opposition now views it as an ideological battle.
As per vote projections after some non-NDA parties extended their support to the BJP nominee, Kovind has an assured 6,82,677 votes in his kitty.
Meira Kumar, on the other hand, has 3,76,261 committed votes, which is 34% and one-third of the total collegium vote.
This time around, there are around 39,965 votes of fence-sitting parties such as the AAP, the INLD and the AIMIM and some Independents, which have not yet opened their cards about which candidate to back.
Which way this block tilts will mainly depend on the campaign strategy of the contestants of the ruling party and the Opposition.
Of the 776 MPs in the presidential election collegium, Kovind has the support of 524, including 337 of the BJP, while his opponent, Meira Kumar, has the support of 235. The value of one MP's vote is 708 votes.