The stage is set for what is essentially a one-sided battle between missile technologist A P J Abdul Kalam and INA veteran Colonel Lakshmi Sehgal in the presidential election on Monday.
Arrangements have been completed for polling in Parliament House, where the MPs will cast their vote, and state assemblies, where MLAs will vote. Counting of votes will take place in New Delhi on July 18.
Kalam, the hero of Pokhran nuclear tests and long associated with the country's space programme, was pitchforked into national politics by a surprise last-minute nomination made by the ruling National Democratic Alliance.
Equally surprising was the Left parties' choice of 87-year-old Sehgal.
Sehgal has now become the first woman to contest a presidential election.
Despite her age, the INA veteran and a close associate of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose undertook a spirited election campaign addressing press conferences in various state capitals. Kalam, however, chose to keep a low profile.
With only a handful of MPs, the Left parties are unlikely to fetch substantial votes in the contest which is heavily tilted in favour of Kalam.
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