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Election for India’s next President to be held on July 18

The Rashtrapati Bhavan.(Image Source: Wikimedia)

Elections to choose India’s next President will be held on July 18, the Election Commission announced today. The counting of votes has been scheduled for July 21.

Addressing the media, Chief Election Rajiv Kumar said, India's next President is to be elected before July 25.

A total of 4,809 members of the electoral college comprising MPs and MLAs will elect the successor to incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind whose term ends on July 24.

Kumar said the election will be held with a full COVID-related safety protocol in place during the voting and counting of votes.

There has been speculation that President Ram Nath Kovind will not get a second term in office and the name of a new candidate  for the post is expected to be announced soon. So far, only the country’s first president, Dr Rajendra Prasad, was elected twice.

While government sources earlier indicated that a consensus candidate will be preferred, the opposition is likely to put up a joint candidate. However, given the sharp differences between the opposition parties this is also a difficult task. 

The BJP had picked Mr Kovind, a member of the Dalit community, as its choice for President in 2017. He was Governor of Bihar at the time.

Mr Kovind became the 14th President of India, after he defeated opposition candidate Meira Kumar, a Congress politician who represented the Dalit community and was a former Speaker of the Lok Sabha.