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All the necessary arrangements have been made in Punjab and Haryana in view of tomorrow's presidential election. Ruling NDA's Ram Nath Kovind has locked horns with opposition candidate Meira Kumar in the race to the country's top constitutional post. "All the arrangements to hold the election in a free, fair and peaceful manner have been made," said Pankaj Agarwal, Returning Officer (RO), Haryana. As per the Election Commission's (EC) schedule, polling would be held between 10 am and 5 pm tomorrow, he added. The Old Committee Room in the Assembly was the designated polling station in Haryana, while in Punjab, the polling would be held in the Assembly complex, said officials. Special pens have been supplied by the EC for the lawmakers to cast their votes on ballot papers, said Agarwal. A poster carrying detailed instructions with regards to tomorrow's polling, including asking the MPs and MLAs to mark their votes only with the pens designated for the purpose, has been put up near the entry gate of the Haryana Assembly. The EC has appointed Anil Sant the Election Observer for Haryana. Anuj Jaipuriar, Principal Secretary, EC, has also been appointed to watch over the poll process in the state, an official spokesman said here today. He added that mobile phones would not be allowed inside the polling stations as per EC guidelines. Meanwhile, the Punjab Congress Legislature Party (CLP) members will meet here tomorrow morning, ahead of the polling. Chief Minister and CLP leader Amarinder Singh has called the meeting at 9 am.
The Congress lawmakers, led by Amarinder, will then go to the Assembly to cast their votes. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has called a meeting of the BJP members today. The INLD has already announced its support to former Bihar governor Kovind. The AAP has announced its support to former Lok Sabha speaker Kumar. However, citing the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, senior AAP leader H S Phoolka has said he would not vote for the UPA-led opposition candidate. AAP's ally the Lok Insaaf Party has already announced its support to Kovind. The Congress, which stormed to power in Punjab in March after a gap of 10 years, has 77 MLAs in the 117-member state Assembly, while the AAP has 20 and the Lok Insaaf Party two. The SAD-BJP coalition has 18 MLAs (Shiromani Akali Dal 15, BJP three) in the Punjab Assembly. Among the Lok Sabha members from Punjab, the Congress has four, the SAD three, the BJP had two but recently, its Gurdaspur MP Vinod Khanna passed away. The AAP has four Lok Sabha members from Punjab, of whom two have been suspended by the party. In the Rajya Sabha, the Congress and the SAD have three members each, while the BJP has a lone member from the state in the Upper House of Parliament. In the 90-member Haryana Assembly, the ruling BJP enjoys a majority with 47 MLAs and the support of five Independents, while the Congress has 17 MLAs. INLD, the principal opposition, has 19 members, while the SAD and the BSP have one MLA each. Among the Lok Sabha MPs from Haryana, the BJP has seven, the INLD two and the Congress one. In the Rajya Sabha, the BJP has one member of the five from the state and media baron Subhash Chandra was elected to the Upper House last year with the saffron party's support. The Congress has two Rajya Sabha members from Haryana, while the INLD has one.
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