Presidential election 2017: NCP breaks ranks with Opposition to support Kovind

NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. PTI

While the president's role is largely ceremonial as the executive powers are wielded by the prime minister, Kovind's election will likely consolidate the BJP's grip on power.

Presidential election 2017 was held in India with NDA contender Ram Nath Kovind taking on the UPA candidate Meira Kumar.

A united Opposition initially had a razor-thin edge, but BJP president Amit Shah's deft handling brought many regional parties to support Kovind.

Talking to media persons, party legislator Naba Kishore Das said all the MLAs have been asked to support UPA candidate Meira Kumar by the AICC. MP AU Singh Deo said Kovind has assured to work impartially, while BJD vice-president and minister SN Patro said the presidential candidate has "assured to protect interest of Orissa". Everyone has just one question that who will be the next India's President?

The parliamentary board meeting on Monday will also be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

With the numbers stacked against her, Meira Kumar urged members of the electoral college to heed their "voice of conscience" and vote for an ideology that binds India.

After completion of casting of votes, the ballot boxes will be taken by the observers to New Delhi by flight.

Six sacked MLAs of Trinamool Congress (TMC) and lone opposition Congress MLA out of its total strength of 60 in Tripura assembly today voted for NDA's presidential pick Ram Nath Kovind.

The President is chosen by an electoral college comprising all the MPs and MLAs in the country, with weighted votes apportioned. President Pranab Mukherjee's term expires on July 25.

An NDA leader present at the meeting, who did not wish to be named, said Mr. Modi recounted how Mr. Kovind had been a lawyer and had also contributed to the party by working for it.

The contest which is largely being viewed as a clash between two Dalit leaders, was described by Kumar as an "ideological battle".

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