New Initiatives By The ECI For Presidential Polls

Written By Supriya Krishnamurthy | Mumbai | Published:

Parliament is all set to witness the polling for the next President — a clash between NDA's pick Ram Nath Kovind and Congress' Meira Kumar — on Monday, the first day of the monsoon session. 

The new initiatives

(1) A unique serial numbered special pens of violet ink are being supplied centrally by Election Commission so as to ensure that only instrument supplied by ECI is used for marking the ballot.

(2) The inks are being procured from Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd - which supplies the Indelible ink.

(3) Before entering into voting chamber , one polling staff will collect the personal pens, if anyone is possessing and will handover the ECI Special Pen to MPs/ MLAs for marking the ballot.

(4) When the Member of Parliament comes out of the voting chamber - the ECI Special Pen will be taken back by polling staff and would be handed over his/ her pen that he/she was carrying.

(5) Voting by using any other pen may lead to invalidation of the vote at the time of counting under Rule 31(1)(d) of Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections Rules 1974.

(6) Another First Time *special posters have been prepared for do's and dont's so as to ensure peaceful poll, use of only eci pen, maintenance of secrecy and non-issuance of whip etc.

Other important pointers about the election:

(1) Polling time is from 10 am to 5 pm 

(2) There are a total of 32 Polling Stations - one in Parliament House Room No 62 and the remaining are each in State Legislative Assembly.

(3) Ballot papers in 2 colours - Green colour Ballot for the use of MPs and Pink colour for the MLA's use. 

- Ballot papers will be in two columns - first column containing names of candidates and the second column for marking preferences by the electors
- Ballot paper in English and Hindi for use by MPs and in official languages of the State and in English for use by MLAs.

(4) 33 Observers appointed by ECI to oversee conduct of elections - two in Parliament and One each in other 31 polling stations - Legislative Assemblies

(5) ECI has permitted 14 Rajya Sabha members , 41 Lok Sabha Members  to vote in State Legislative Assemblies instead of Parliament in today's Presidential Elections.  Similarly , it has permitted 5 MLAs to exercise their vote in Parliament and 4 MLAs to vote in other State Legislative Assemblies .

About the candidates

Ram Nath Kovind, the former Governor of Bihar, was announced as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA's candidate for the post of President of India by BJP president Amit Shah on June 19 2017. Kovind is a leader and a politician from the BJP. Kovind filed his nomination for the election on June 23, 2017.

Meira Kumar, the former Speaker of Lok Sabha, was announced as the Indian National Congress (INC)-lead opposition's candidate for the post of President of India, after a meeting held on the June 22, 2017.

Both Kovind and Kumar are from the Dalit community and have canvassed hard by visiting states to seek support of legislators.

Though the poll result will be announced on July 20, it is expected that Kovind will emerge as winner as he has also support of non- NDA parties like All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), Janata Dal- United (JD-U), Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and independents.

UPA candidate Meira Kumar has support of parties like Indian National Congress (INC), The Nationalist Congress Party ( NCP), Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samajwadi Party ( BSP), Aam Aadmi Party ( AAP), Rashtirya Janata Dal (RJD), All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI-M), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Revolutionary Socialist Party (R SP), Kerala Congress (M) (KC-M), The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), The Janata Dal (Secular) (JDS), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), The All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM), Communist Party of India (CPI), Jammua and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC). 


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