Voting for the presidential poll in Uttar Pradesh ended this afternoon with 402 of the 403 MLAs and three MPs exercising their franchise while SP legislator Shivpal Singh Yadav voted for NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind. The senior Samajwadi party legislator arrived at the Assembly complex along with Independent MLA Aman Mani Tripathi and Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal's (NISHAD) lone legislator Vijay Mishra, who too told reporters that they supported Kovind. "My open support is for Kovindji, who belongs to Kanpur dehat and is our neighbour," Shivpal told reporters, adding, "Meira Kumar did not seek vote from me and I voted on the directions of 'netaji' (Mulayam Singh Yadav)." The voting began at 10 AM at Tilak Hall in the Assembly complex and ended at 5 PM with 402 out of total 403 MLAs and three MPs casting their votes, ACEO Amrita Soni told PTI. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya and Union Minister Uma Bharti were among those who cast their votes. Both Adityanath and Maurya have not yet to resign from the Lok Sabha.
They along with Bharti are voters as MPs. An SP MLA could not cast his vote due to health reasons. After exercising his franchise, the chief minister told reporters that NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind will win the election with a huge margin. "This is a matter of pride for the people of Uttar Pradesh, the son of the state is going to become the President," he said. After casting her vote, Union Minister Uma Bharti said, "Kovind is winning the election for sure and the margin will be huge." Prominent among those who voted included ministers in the Yogi government Srikant Sharma, Sidharth Nath Singh, Swami Prasad Maurya and Suresh Khanna. Independent MLA Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya also supported Kovind stating that he had "old relations" with him. The NDA has fielded former Bihar governor Kovind for the top constitutional post, while former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar is the joint opposition candidate. Counting of votes will take place on July 20 in New Delhi where all the ballot boxes will be brought from various state capitals. The tenure of incumbent Pranab Mukherjee ends on July 24.
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