New Delhi: India’s lawmakers voted to elect country’s 15th president on Monday. Droupadi Murmu, a candidate for the NDA, is up against opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha. Across the nation, about 4,800 MPs and MLAs cast their ballots. The voting results will be tallied on July 21. Elections for a new president and vice president, who will also serve as the ex-officio head of the Parliament’s Upper House, Rajya Sabha, will take place during the monsoon session of the legislature, which also started today.
Earlier today, opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha pleaded with all MPs and MLAs to vote according to their inner conscience and accused the BJP of utilising all of its resources against him in the presidential election.
“This election is crucial as it will be decided in the coming days if India’s democracy will be saved or not. Since, there are no whips for this election and the voting will be done in secrecy, I request all the lawmakers to listen to their inner conscience,” said Yashwant Sinha.
In the days before the election, Sinha and Murmu both travelled widely across the nation for their campaigns and to meet with MPs. Sinha has spoken out more during the campaigning period. Sinha stated that there are two philosophies at war, not two people, in his final appeal to all political parties on Sunday.
Sinha asserted that Droupadi Murmu is “backed by those who are mounting daily attacks on democracy,” even as he pledged to defend democracy in India. Sinha also questioned if India wanted a president who would act as a “rubber stamp” or who would stand up for the Constitution rather than the Prime Minister.
The Chief Returning Officer PC Mody said that 99.18% of lawmakers had participated in the presidential election, which finished at 5 o’clock, and that voting had taken place everywhere in harmony and tranquilly. According to Mody, all state ballot boxes would be flown into the Parliament by today.