Presidential election on July 17, counting on 20

Zaidi said the ECI was taking all necessary steps to ensure free and fair elections to the office of President of India. "Voting by using any other pen may lead to invalidation of the vote at the time of counting", said a release by the Election Commission.

Chief Election Commissioner Naseem Zaidi announced the dates at a press conference. Congress President Sonia Gandhi has been seeking the support of other opposition parties to decide on a candidate they can all agree on.

At the moment, there are 13 vacancies in the electoral college, which includes three MPs and 10 MLAs.

The President of India is elected by an electoral college that consists of the elected members of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, elected members of the 29 state legislative assemblies along with the elected members of the legislative assembly of the Union Territories- Delhi and Puducherry.

BJP has said that before declaring its candidate it would consult with the opposition parties.

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The electors, drawn from elected Members of Parliament and State legislatures will be required to use a "particular pen" provided by the Commission to mark their choice (s). The last date for withdrawal of candidature is July 1.

President Pranab Mukhereje's term expires on July 25.

Asked if the 21 MLAs of Aam Aadmi Party, against whom the case of office-of-profit is pending with the EC, would be able to vote, Zaidi said: "It is sub-judice matter".

The election will be held in accordance with the System of Proportional Representation by means of a single transferable vote. "As on date, they are eligible to cast their vote".

"The Election Commission, in consultation with the Central government, appoints the Secretary General of the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha, by rotation, as the returning officer".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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