President Pranab Mukherjee will join the long list of Presidents who chose not to cast their vote and remain “neutral”. A fortnight after it was announced that President Mukherjee will casts his vote in the last phase of polls for the 14th Lok Sabha through a postal ballot, the President’s Office has confirmed that the First Citizen wants to return to the tradition of President’s refraining from exercising their voting right.
Mr. Mukherjee, registered as a voter in South Kolkata, has had earlier opted to exercise his franchise through postal ballot, which would have made him the first President to do so.
“The President has decided not to cast his vote, he wants to return to the tradition of Presidents maintaining their neutrality by not voting,” said Venu Rajamony, Press Secretary to the President.
In 1998, former President K.R. Narayanan became the first President to cast his vote. He stood in queue with ordinary citizens at a polling booth in the National Capital to cast his vote and broke the tradition of Presidents staying away from adult suffrage.
Former Presidents Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Patil have in the past cast their votes at the special polling centres within Rashtrapati Bhavan or at Nirman Bhavan.