Voting began at 10 AM and will continue till 5 PM.
A total of 32 polling stations — one in Parliament House and one each in the state legislative assemblies —— have been set up, officials said.
The Election Commission has appointed 33 observers who are overseeing the conduct of the election. While two observers are present in Parliament House, one each is deployed in the respective state assemblies.
The results will be declared on July 20 in New Delhi.
The electorate, comprising elected Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members and members of state assemblies, is tilted in favour of the NDA, but the opposition is working to seek support of some regional parties in favour of its candidate.
The two contestants for the post of the country’s next president are NDA’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind and the opposition’s Meira Kumar.
Kovind, former Bihar governor, and Kumar, former Lok Sabha Speaker, have held a series of meetings across states to mobilise support for their candidature.
The tenure of incumbent Pranab Mukherjee, the 13th president of India, ends on July 24.
The electoral college, which elects the president through the system of proportional representation, comprises MPs and members of state legislative assemblies.
A total of 4,896 voters —— 4,120 MLAs and 776 elected MPs —— are eligible to cast their ballot. MLCs of states with legislative council are not part of the electoral college.
While the Lok Sabha speaker, an elected member, can vote, the two nominated members in the Lower House from the Anglo— Indian community cannot. The 12 nominated members in the Rajya Sabha are also ineligible.
Since the election is through a secret ballot, the parties cannot issue a whip to their members to vote for a particular candidate.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first to cast his vote to elect the next president of India from the Parliament House
Ahead of Presidential election 2017, Election Commission of India(ECI) unveils new initiatives
In the 2012 elections, Pranab Mukherjee garnered 7,13,763 votes, while Pratibha Patil secured 6,38,116 votes before that in 2007. Both Mukherjee and Patil were Congress nominees.
Since the post was introduced in 1950, India has had 13 Presidents. President Pranab Mukherjee’s term in office expires on July 25, 2017. Just prior to this, on July 20, 2017, the name of India’s next President, will be announced. Here’s a look at India’s Presidents so far. Only one President, Rajendra Prasad, has been elected to the office twice.