Droupadi Murmu Ahead By Huge Margin In Presidential Election After Round 1: 10 Points

Presidential Election: 44 parties declared support for Droupadi Murmu, the former Governor of Jharkhand.

New Delhi:
Counting for the Presidential election is being seen as mere formality as Droupadi Murmu — backed by the ruling NDA and several other parties — is set to far outstrip Opposition’s Yashwant Sinha. She will be India’s first tribal President.

Here are the top 10 updates on this story:

  1. NDA’s Droupadi Murmu is in the lead as votes of MPs have been counted so far in the election for the 15th President of India. Of the 748 valid votes, Ms Murmu got 540 and Yashwant Sinha got 204. Going by a formula based on population and assembly seats, these votes carry a value at 5.2 lakh (about half of the electoral college) — Ms Murmu has got 3.8 lakh; Mr Sinha, 1.4 lakh. After votes of the MLAs are counted as well, the result is expected by 8 pm.

  2. Ms Murmu has 72 per cent of the votes so far — the lead is bigger than expected — and is likely to easily cross the required halfway mark overall. With that, India looks set to get its first tribal President, and only the second woman.

  3. Residents in Odisha’s Rairangpur, the hometown of Ms Murmu, are already celebrating. They have got 20,000 sweets prepared. A tribal dance and victory procession are part of the plan after the results are out.

  4. Counting began around 1.30 pm at Parliament House. The process began at 11 am, as ballot boxes from all states were opened before starting the count.

  5. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Droupadi Murmu at her temporary lodgings in Teen Murti Marg to congratulate her after the results are declared, sources said.

  6. Delhi BJP has planned a roadshow after Ms Murmu’s victory from the party headquarters to Rajpath. Many senior leaders will be present, sources said. All state units of the BJP have also planned victory processions.

  7. NDA’s choice of Ms Murmu — a tribal woman from Odisha and a former Jharkhand Governor — worked as a move to split the Opposition and bring support from non-aligned parties, such as Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal and Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress.

  8. Altogether, 34 parties declared support for Opposition candidate, former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, and 44 backed Droupadi Murmu. Several legislators admitted to have crossvoted in favour of Ms Murmu. Voting against party lines does not attract any penalty in these elections.

  9. The winner of the Presidential election is not the candidate who gets only the most votes, but the one who crosses a quota. This quota is determined by adding votes polled for each candidate, dividing by two, and adding ‘1’ to it. Basically, one more than 50 per cent. If someone does not cross this at first, subsequent preferences marked on the ballot paper come into play.

  10. The President-elect will take oath on July 25, a day after Ramnath Kovind’s tenure ends.

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