355 to cast vote in presidential poll in Maharashtra assembly today

1,581 MPs with criminal background will elect next President of India

Criminal record entitled with presidential poll 2017

The President is chosen by an electoral college comprising all the MPs and MLAs in the country, with weighted votes apportioned. Two observers will be in the Parliament while one each would be in the legislative assemblies in each state.

The Bombay High Court had on Friday granted permission to NCP MLA Ramesh Kadam, who is in jail after his arrest in an alleged corruption case, to vote in the election. The BJP is confident that a majority of the independent MLAs will support its candidate, Ram Nath Kovind.

Voting is in Parliament House and respective state assemblies between 10 am and 5 pm on July 17.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the fight between Kovind and Kumar was "one of ideologies" and rated the latter as the best choice for the president's post.

"Kovindji will win with a comfortable and respectable margin", Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu said before voting. President Pranab Mukherjee's tenure ends on July 24.

Shah, who is an MLA from Gujarat, was allowed to cast his vote in Parliament.

Two TMC Lok Sabha members, Deepak Adhikari alias Deb and Sugato Bose, and the party's Rajya Sabha member K.D. Singh voted in Delhi.

Paper ballots will be used in the presidential election and the votes will be valid only if the special violet ink pen is used to vote.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal led his the AAP lawmakers to vote.

The voting is taking place in the committee hall at the Assembly Secretariat amid tight security.

Hyderabad: Voting for the presidential election began in the Telangana Legislative Assembly here today with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao casting the first vote.

"Hope the Electoral College picks the custodian of India's Constitution thoughtfully: Vote to uphold Constitutional Values of our Republic", party general secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Twitter.

Three Members of Parliament - Tapas Paul, Anbumani Ramadoss and Rama Chandra Hansdah - did not vote. So, the rest of the 134 MLAs and 49 MPs (except Sasikala Pushpa who has been expelled from the AIADMK) belonging to both factions of the AIADMK will cast their votes for NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind since both factions as well as TTV Dhinakaran have declared support for Kovind already.

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