NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind defeated opposition candidate Meira Kumar by a huge margin to become India’s 14th President. The swearing in will take place on July 25.
71-year old Kovind, a former Bihar Governor who will be the second Dalit to hold the top Constitutional position, received 2930 votes with a value of 702044. Kovind is the first BJP member to be elected President. He will take oath on July 25, succeeding President Pranab Mukherjee, for a five-year term.
Kumar, also a Dalit, polled 1844 votes with a value of 367314. She got 34.35 percent vote share.
As reported by Daily Excelsior in Jammu & Kashmir assembly , 56 MLAs voted for BJP-backed Ram Nath Kovind while 30 MLAs opted for Congress-backed Meira Kumar, former Lok Sabha Speaker. Both the candidates had personally visited Srinagar, the summer capital of the State, to garner support for them.
The news report also mentions, out of 87 elected MLAs, who were eligible for voting in the Presidential election, 86 had cast their votes during polling held in Srinagar on July 17.
Jammu and Kashmir contributed 8988 votes that mostly came from BJP and its coalition partners including People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and People’s Conference (PC).
The BJP, for the second time, managed to get the vote of Independent MLA from Zanskar, Bakir Rizvi, who was previously with the PDP but his vote in April 2017 Legislative Council elections had led to the defeat of PDP candidate and victory of BJP nominee.
Independent MLA from Langate, Engineer Abdul Rashid has abstained from the voting while two Nominated women MLAs were not eligible for voting in the Presidential election.
Another significant outcome of the Presidential election in Jammu and Kashmir was the continued support of CPM MLA MY Tarigami and two Independent MLAs-Hakim Mohammad Yasin (Khansaheb) and Pawan Gupta (Udhampur) to the Opposition, Congress-National Conference.
As each MLA of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly has vote value of 72 for the Presidential election, Kovind polled 4032 votes (65.1 per cent) while Meira Kumar got 2160 votes (34.9 per cent).
Clubbed with nine Members of Parliament from Jammu and Kashmir, who had voted in the Parliament Hall, Kovind got 8988 votes from J&K while Kumar polled 3576. As each MP of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha has vote value of 708, BJP candidate polled vote of seven MPs (four from BJP and three from PDP) totaling 4956 while Kumar secured two votes of MPs (one each from National Conference and Congress) accounting for 1416 votes.
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BJP has three Lok Sabha and one Rajya Sabha seats in the State while PDP has two Rajya Sabha and one Lok Sabha seats. NC has one Lok Sabha while Congress has one Rajya Sabha seat. One Lok Sabha seat of Anantnag-Pulwama is vacant.
The voting for the Presidential election from Jammu and Kashmir almost went on expected lines.
Out of 56 votes of MLAs garnered by the PDP-BJP Alliance for Ram Nath Kovind, 28 belonged to PDP, 25 to BJP, two to People’s Conference of Sajjad Lone (a BJP ally) and Independent MLA from Zanskar, Bakir Rizvi, an ally the BJP found in April 2017 Legislative Council election leading to surprise victory of party candidate, Vikram Singh Randhawa to the Council and defeat of the PDP nominee Abdul Qayoom Dar. Randhawa had won through lottery system.
The cross-voting by Bakir Rizvi, who had to vote for the PDP, as per the understanding reached by the Alliance partners, had defected to BJP on the assurance of Ministerial berth and facilities to his constituency, leading to PDP candidate’s defeat and acrimony between the coalition partners for some time.
Independent MLA from Udhampur Pawan Gupta had announced after the Presidential election that he voted for the BJP but data showed that he had sided with the Congress as Kovind got 56 votes only while Meira polled 30 votes of MLAs.
Of 30 votes of Meira, 15 belonged to National Conference, 12 Congress and one each of MY Tarigami (CPM), Hakim Mohammad Yasin (PDF) and Pawan Gupta.
BJP sources said Bakir Rizvi voted for them and not Pawan Gupta.
The PDP-BJP Alliance has established its supremacy in the Legislative Assembly by taking 56 votes. With two nominated women MLAs also belonging to the PDP and BJP, the party’s strength stood at 58 out of 89 MLAs in the Lower House, just one short of two-third majority. The coalition Government was also just one member short of two-third majority in the Legislative Council.