Indian legislators cast their votes for a new president on July 12.
GV Parliament House, New Delhi
SV Members of Parliament queueing to vote (2 shots)
SV Rajiv Gandhi voting
SV Jagjivan Ram voting
SV Maharav Rao Scindia voting
SV Zail Singh casting vote (3 shots)
SV Mrs. Gandhi voting
SV Mr. A.B. Vajpayee voting
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Background: Indian legislators cast their votes for a new president on July 12. More than 4,500 members of the two national houses of parliament and the 21 state assemblies cast their ballots during the one-day poll. The hot favourite to win was former Home Affairs Minister Zail Singh, a close supporter of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The formidable majority of Mrs. Gandhi's Congress (I) party made the election of Mr. Singh, 66, a virtual certainty. The opposition candidate is Hans Raj Khanna, a former supreme court judge. The winner will be sworn in on July 25, to replace incumbent President Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, who ends his five-year term the previous day. If elected, Mr. Singh will be the first president drawn from the minority Sikh community. Political analyst, quoted by Reuters, say Mrs. Gandhi wants town in support from the country's 11 million Sikhs and weaken a Sikh secessionist movement. Among those who voted: Mrs. Gandhi's son, Rajiv; Mr. Jagjivan Ram,leader of the Harijan (Untouchable) caste; Mr. Maharav Rao Scindia, a former Maharajah and now a prominent congress (I) supporter; the president of the opposition Bhartiya Janata n Party, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee; Mr. Singh himself, and Mrs. Gandhi.