Presidential election 2017: Ram Nath Kovind battles Meira Kumar today

New Delhi: Former Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate, takes on opposition candidate and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar in the presidential elections 2017 on Monday.

A total of 4,896 lawmakers will vote to elect the successor to President Pranab Mukherjee, who demits office on 25 July.

Atotal of 95 candidates filed nominations for the top Constitutional post, of which 93 were rejected on various grounds, leaving only Kovind and Kumar in the fray, said a report in The Indian Express. While Kumar has the support of 17 opposition parties, Kovind is set to sweep with nearly 70% of electoral college votes,

Kovind is likely to get support of 2,180 MLAs and 530 MPs, while Kumar is set to get support from 1628 MLAs and 232 MPs, added the report.

According to a PTI report, a total of 4,896 voters—4,120 MLAs and 776 elected MPs—are eligible to cast their ballot. Members of legislative councils (MLCs) of states are not part of the electoral college. The BJP-led NDA has 537,683 votes, including the votes of the Shiv Sena, and the shortage is around 12,000 votes. But the promised support from Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the YSR Congress and the likely backing from factions of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) could offset the shortfall.

Meira Kumar is expected to get 35.4% of the votes, including by legislators of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Trinamool Congress. This vote share may vary if parliamentarians sway from their party positions, says an