Presidential Election, if required, on July 17: Election Commission

To maintain secrecy of votes EC to provide special pens for voters in Presidential poll

Counting of votes will take place in Delhi, the CEC said.

Briefing the press on the election process for the Presidential polls, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said the Election Commission will issue a notification in this regard on June 14.

The last presidential polls, too, had witnessed a dramatic fight when former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma left his party to contest as a common candidate of the BJD, AIADMK and the NDA.

He said that if polls needed, it will be held on July 17 and the counting will be done on July 20.

President Pranab Mukhereje's term expires on July 25. The recent victories in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur Assembly polls has bolstered its numerical strength in the electoral college.

While the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is confident that it has the numbers to gain support for its candidate, the opposition too is coming together to field a candidate of its own if the government fails to propose a consensus candidate.

The term of Vice President Hamid Ansari will end in August.

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Elected members of state legislatives and parliament will be eligible to vote for the new president, who will assume office next month.

He said that the ECI is taking all necessary steps to ensure free and fair elections to the office of President of India. The election will be held on July 17. "The elector can have as many preferences as the number of candidates, but the marking of the first preference is compulsory for the ballot to be valid".

Similarly, the chief election commissioner said it has laid down that a candidate can file a maximum of four nomination papers.

He said each candidate will be allowed to deploy a representative at the venue of polling.

The MPs and MLAs will have to cast their votes on ballot papers using the pens provided by the EC.

As of 2017, the electoral college is made up of 4896 legislators, out of which 776 are Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members and 4120 are MLAs.

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