Presidential poll ends with a bit of drama

The voting for electing the 13th president of India ended on Thursday, with Pranab Mukherjee most likely to be elected the next president. At least 72 per cent of MPs and MLAs across the country participated in the exercise. A total of 4,120 MLAs and 776 MPs with a vote value of 10.98 lakh votes were eligible to cast their ballot in the election.

Among the early voters were Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

The polling had its share of twists and turns when Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yaday accidentally voted for the National Democratic Alliance candidate P A Sangma. Yadav had put a tick mark against Sangma's name before casting his ballot. Realising his mistake, he tore the paper and sought a new one. Yadav was allowed to use a fresh ballot paper.

The Sangma camp, however, demanded that the second ballot paper issued to Yadav be cancelled and that the first vote marked by him be considered valid. In a written complaint to the returning officer for the poll, Sangma's election agent Satya Pal Jain said that under the law, Yadav was not entitled to another ballot paper.

'We have objected to the tearing of first ballot paper and objected to him being given another ballot paper, which he is not entitled to,' said Jain in the complaint. The Bharatiya Janata Party leader said that the first ballot paper has been preserved under a sealed cover with the returning officer.
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