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Presidential Election 2017 LIVE: Voting will take place today to elect the next President of India

Former Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar will face off in the elections to pick India’s 14th President at 10 am today — a battle the opposition has pitched as “ideological”. Ms Kumar’s candidature was announced by the Opposition only after the ruling NDA had named its candidate; Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s choice of a Dalit candidate was seen as a masterstroke to divide the opposition and keep allies together. Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United broke ranks with the opposition to announce support for Mr Kovind and BJP’s fractious ally Shiv Sena found itself outmanoeuvred. In this election, the numbers are stacked against the opposition. The BJP and allies have well over 60 per cent of the vote.
 Here are the live updates from the 2017 Presidential Election:
71-year-old Ram Nath Kovind, a lawyer, had served twice as a Rajya Sabha member before he took over as Bihar Governor. If elected, he will be India’s second Dalit president after KR Narayanan, who served from 1997 to 2002. Mr Kovind’s selection is seen as a move by the BJP to consolidate its growing support among politically vital backward castes. But it is Mr Kovind’s past as a long-time BJP worker which was instrumental for his selection, the opposition has alleged.

(Photo: Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah)

Ram Nath Kovind vs Meira Kumar: In the presidential election, the numbers are stacked against the opposition. The BJP and allies have well over 60 per cent of the vote.

(Presidential Election 2017: On voting day, the numbers are in favour of Ram Nath Kovind)

Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United broke ranks with the opposition to announce support for Mr Kovind and BJP’s fractious ally Shiv Sena found itself outmanoeuvred.

(Photo: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar meets Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind)

Meira Kumar’s candidature was announced by the Opposition only after the ruling NDA had named its candidate; Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s choice of a Dalit candidate was seen as a masterstroke to divide the opposition and keep allies together.

(Photo: Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind with Prime Minister Narendra Modi)

The Presidential contest between former Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, has been pitched by the opposition as a battle of “ideologies”. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Sunday said the presidential poll is a fight against “narrow-minded communal vision”.

(Photo: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi with opposition’s Presidential candidate Meira Kumar)

Former Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar will face off in the elections to pick India’s 14th President at 10 am today.

(Photo: The Rashtrapati Bhavan)

Courtesy of NDTV News