Race for Raisina Hill: Odds favour Kovind

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 Jun 2017 09:07:16


By Sanjeev Chopra,


SET for a comfortable victory, NDA presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind may bag over 62 per cent votes but fall short of the 69 per cent votes polled by incumbent Pranab Mukherjee in 2012.

With the battle lines drawn in the first-ever Dalit versus Dalit presidential contest, the odds are heavily stacked in favour of the NDA candidate Kovind who is set to get around 7 lakh votes which is around two-thirds of the total 10,98,903 votes of the electoral college. The joint Opposition candidate Meira Kumar is likely to bag around 4 lakh votes despite the support of many regional parties like the RJD, traditional rivals the SP and the BSP and the TMC and the CPI-M.

Chances of Kovind registering a comfortable win brightened after some major non-NDA parties like the JD-U, the BJD, the AIADMK, the TRS and the YSR-Congress extended their support to him. Aware of its chances in the July 17 presidential election, the Opposition now views it as an ideological battle. As per vote projections after some non-NDA parties extended their support to the BJP nominee, Kovind has an assured 6,82,677 votes in his kitty. Kumar on the other hand has 3,76,261 committed votes, which is 34 per cent and one-third of the total collegium vote. This time around, there are around 39,965 votes of fence sitting parties like the AAP, the INLD, the AIMIM and some Independents, who have not yet opened their cards about which candidate to back.

Which way this block tilts will mainly depend on the campaign strategy of the contestants of the ruling party and the Opposition.
Of the total 776 MPs in the presidential election collegium, Kovind has the support of 524, including 337 of its BJP, while his opponent Kumar has the support of 235. The value of one MP vote is 708 votes.

Accordingly, the NDA nominee will get 3,70,992 MPs votes. The rest of Kovind’s vote value — 3,11,685 – will come from state legislators. Meira Kumar has 1,66,380 votes of MPs while the remaining 2,09,881 committed votes for her are coming from legislators in states.