New Delhi, July 19 (IBNS): More than 4000 lawmakers cast their ballots in the Parliament and in state assemblies to elect the next President of the country as voting for the titular post ended at 5 pm on Thursday with United Progressive Alliance (UPA) partners looking confident of their candidate Pranab Mukherjee winning the poll easily.
According to reports, 21 out of the 699 MPs in the Parliament, that included legislators from Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP), abstained from the voting.
Top leaders from different political parties were seen exercising their franchise since voting started at 10 am.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi, party general secretary Rahul Gandhi and Pranab Mukherjee cast their votes in the morning.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati, Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Union Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar were also seen casting the ballots on Thursday.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders like Anurag Thakur, Murli Manohar Joshi, Yashodhara Raje voted on Thursday as the party is supporting Mukherjee's challenger PA Sangma.
Sangma, who resigned from his party the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to contest the poll, have received the support of several National Democratic Alliance (NDA) parties, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
Jayalalithaa cast her vote on Thursday at a polling booth in Chennai, while Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi exercised his franchise at a polling booth in the state assembly.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cast her vote at the state assembly in Kolkata.
Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Mukul Roy and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Suryakanta Mishra also cast their ballots on Thursday.
Mishra is the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly.
Pranab Mukherjee's son and MLA Abhijit Mukherjee also voted in the state Assembly.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata had earlier opposed Mukherjee's candidature but later decided to support him.
Mamata on Tuesday said her TMC will vote for Mukherjee in the election.
"It was a difficult decision. We had no other option," she said.
Mamata was seen waving a victory sign after casting her vote in the crucial poll on Thursday.
Jailed YSR Congress party chief Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday cast his ballot at the assembly polling station in Hyderabad.
Jagan was brought to the Andhra Pradesh assembly on Thursday amidst tight security. He is currently lodged in Hyderabad's Chanchalguda prison in connection to a disproportionate assets case.
A Hyderabad court earlier granted permission to Jagan to vote in the Presidential election.
Former Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi cast their ballots after a Delhi Court earlier allowed them to vote in the Presidential poll.
Pertinently, both the leaders are facing trial in 2G spectrum allocation case.
Meanwhile, the poll did not fail to cater a pinch of drama as SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav reportedly voted in favour of Sangma by mistake but later corrected it by voting a second time.
Yadav was allowed to cast his vote again after he realized his mistake.
The SP is supporting UPA's candidate Mukherjee for the titular post.
Mukherjee, the nominee backed by India’s Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has been tipped to have an advantage in the numbers with all the member parties of the ruling coalition parties and others like the SP and the Left supporting him.
According to reports, Mukherjee has likely gained more than 88 percent of the 11,140 vote value from the 80 MLAs and MPs of the national capital New Delhi in the election.
As many as 4,896 lawmakers -- 776 MPs and 4,120 MLAs -- were eligible to vote in Parliament and state assemblies, accounting for a total vote value of 10.98 lakh and a winning candidate majority 5,49,442 vote value if all of them exercise franchise, media reports said.
UPA leaders have repeatedly claimed a runaway victory for Mukherjee, who has acted as the chief political fixer for the Congress-led coalition for years, saying that he is expected to get around 65 percent of the vote value.
The votes will be counted on Sunday and the result is expected to be declared by the evening.