Stage set for Presidential poll tomorrow

Pranab Sangma

The stage is all set for the Presidential poll tomorrow with UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee expected to romp home with a substantial margin against BJP-backed P A Sangma.

As many as 4,896 lawmakers -- 776 MPs and 4,120 MLAs -- are eligible to vote in Parliament and state Assemblies. The total vote value is 10.98 lakh and a winning candidate needs to get 5,49,442 vote value if all of them exercise franchise.

UPA election managers are claiming a runaway victory for Mukherjee who is expected to get around 7.5 lakh vote value.

The votes will be counted on Sunday and the result is expected to be known by early evening.

The run-up to the Presidential poll saw its twists and turns with key UPA ally Trinamool Congress first declaring its opposition to Mukherjee only to take "the painful decision" to back him.

Besides the UPA and its four supporting parties -- SP, BSP, RJD, JD(S) -- NDA members JD(U) and Shiv Sena as also the CPI(M) and Forward Bloc have declared their support for Mukherjee.

The CPI, RSP, TDP and TRS which together have about 36,000 votes are likely to abstain from voting.

There are around 32,000 votes with smaller parties who have no presence in Parliament but have legislators in the states.

Sangma, a former Lok Sabha Speaker, jumped into the fray playing the tribal card with initial support of the BJD and AIADMK. The BJP and Akali Dal decided to back Sangma, who quit the NCP, the party he founded with Sharad Pawar, to contest the election.

With the support of SP (66,688 vote value), BSP (45,473), JD-U (40,737), Shiv Sena (18,495), JD-S (6,138) and CPI-M and Forward Bloc (around 41,000), Mukherjee can expect vote share of around 7.5 lakh.

In the electoral arithmetic, Sangma is expected to be way behind Mukherjee and is likely to garner around 3.15 lakh vote value.

... contd.

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