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Presidential poll tomorrow, suspense over BJP’s Vice-Prez pick continues

New Delhi, July 16
Even as India readies to elect its new President on Monday, a shroud of mystery continues to surround the BJP’s candidate for the post of the Vice-President, the last date of filling the nominations for which is July 18.
The BJP Parliamentary Board is expected to meet tomorrow evening to pick the NDA’s Vice-President candidate.

Apparently, the saffron party has planned it this way to avoid any unexpected distractions and glitches in voting for the President, which BJP chief Amit Shah wants the NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind to win with a “a sizable margin”.
In the direct contest between the BJP-led NDA nominee Kovind and Opposition candidate Meira Kumar, it is the former who has a definite edge, courtesy support from several Opposition parties, including the JD (U). Given the mathematics of the votes, Kovind’s win is a foregone conclusion.
The total value of votes of the Electoral College is 10,98,903 and BJP leaders have predicted “at least two-third” of these to poll in Kovind’s favour. No whip is issued in the secret ballot and in fact the BJP leaders also expect several legislators of Opposition parties supporting Kumar to indulge in cross-voting.
Kovind has the backing of the BJP and all of its allies besides several regional parties like Nitish Kumar’s JD-U, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Telangana’s TRS, both factions of the AIADMK and the YSR Congress.
Fielded by the Congress and supported by Left and other Opposition parties in what they call as an “ideological battle” against the ruling BJP, Kumar is counting on members of the Electoral College to “heed the inner voice of conscience” while casting vote.
Both Kovind and Kumar are from the Dalit community and both insist that their caste has nothing do with their nomination. But in this Dalit versus Dalit fight, the BJP took the Opposition by surprise by announcing its Dalit candidate first, leaving Congress and others with no other option but to follow suit.
For the Vice-President the BJP has taken its time, showing absolutely no urgency to beat the Opposition at the game.
Meanwhile, all arrangements are in place for the Presidential polls that will take place in Parliament House and respective state assemblies between 10 am and 5 pm on Monday.
Members of both Houses of Parliament and State Assemblies, including the National Capital Region of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry, will cast their votes.
The counting will take place on July 20.
The new President will take over on July 25, a day after the end of the term of President Pranab Mukherjee.