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Prez poll process starts with issue of notification

New Delhi: The Presidential poll process got rolling today with the issue of notification by the Election Commission paving the way for filing of nominations for the July 19 election. As per the notification, the last date for making nominations is fixed as June 30 and the scrutiny of nominations will take place on July 2, while the last date for withdrawal of candidatures is July 4.

Polling for the President`s poll, if necessary, will take place on July 19 between 10 AM and 5 PM, and counting on July 22. The term of incumbent President Pratibha Patil ends on July 24. The Election Commission through another notification has appointed Rajya Sabha secretary general V K Agnihotri as the Returning Officer for the Presidential Election, 2012 and S K Ganguli, Joint Secretary and Deepak Goyal, Joint Secretary, Rajya Sabha Secretariat, as the assistant Returning Officers.

As notified today, the nomination papers can be delivered by a candidate or any one of his proposers or seconders to the Returning Officer at his office in Parliament House between 11 AM and 3 PM on any day (other than a public holiday) but not later than the June 30. Each nomination paper shall be accompanied by a certified copy of the entry relating to the candidate in the electoral roll for the Parliamentary constituency in which the candidate is registered as an elector and each candidate has to deposit a sum of Rs 15,000 in cash at the time of filing of nominations.

The electoral college for the Presidential poll is 4896, comprising 776 Members of both Houses of Parliament and 4120 Members of state legislative assemblies, including those of Delhi and Puducherry. The total value of votes is 10,98,882, with that of MLAs being 5,49,474 and that of MPs being 5,49,408.

Nominated members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and state assemblies are not entitled to vote. Members of the Electoral College can vote according to their conscience and are not bound by any party whips. The voting is also by secret ballot. There is also a provision for postal ballot for only those electors in preventive detention. While the UPA has announced the candidature of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, NDA is yet to finalise its candidate.

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