Presidential Polls: 77 votes including 21 MPs and 56 MLAs declared invalid

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NDA Candidate Ram Nath Kovind won the Presidential elections yesterday, polling 2,930 votes with a value of 7,02,044, defeating his rival Meira Kumar, who got 1,844 votes, with a value of 3,67,314. He is the second Dalit leader after RK Narayana and the first one to hail from Uttar Pradesh to hold the Position.

Voting for the elections was done on 17 July through secret ballot system and each electoral was given a special inked pen for voting.  The MPs voted on green ballots and the MLAs voted on pink ballots.

The MPs and MLAs comprise of the electoral college who were eligible to vote for the polls and election Commission and parties had taken extra efforts to educate the electoral college, on how to properly mark their preference. In spite of these extra efforts, votes of 21 MPs and 56 MLAs with a combined value of 20,942 were declared invalid.

The highest number of votes to be declared invalid were from West Bengal numbering 10 MLAs, followed by 6 MLAs probably from AAP and 4 from BJP in Delhi. 3 votes of MLAs each from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh were also invalid.

The states which did not list a single invalid vote were: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tripura and Uttarakhand.

Eight MPs abstained from voting.

Looking at the past records, instead of the number of invalid votes decreasing in number, it has increased. In 1997 Presidential elections  171 votes were invalid, it rose to 174 in 2002, which decreased to 69 in 2012 and again rose up to 77 in 2017.