Prez poll: Close to 99% voting, the highest ever

Close to 99 per cent voting was recorded on Monday for electing India's next president, the returning officer for the poll announced saying it was perhaps the highest-ever percentage.

The numbers are stacked in favour of the ruling coalition's nominee Ram Nath Kovind, a former Bihar governor, over the opposition's candidate and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.

"The voting was close to 99 per cent. I think this would perhaps be the highest ever percentage," Lok Sabha Secretary General and returning officer for the election Anoop Mishra told a press conference here.

Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Gujarat, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Nagaland, Uttarakhand and Puducherry recorded 100 per cent voting.

In Parliament House, the voting percentage was 99 per cent, said Mishra.

He said while the sanctioned strength of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha is 776, 771 MPs were eligible to cast their votes.

There are two vacancies each in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, while one BJP MP Chedi Paswan does not have voting rights following a judicial pronouncement, he added.

In Delhi, 717 MPs were to cast their ballot but only 714 exercised their franchise. The TMC's Tapas Pal, the BJD's Ram Chandra Hansdak and Ambumani Ramadoss of the PMK did not cast their votes.

Fifty-five MPs had sought permissions to cast their vote in state capitals. These included Goa C...

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