India expected to elect first female president

India is expected to elect its first female president Thursday in a poll marred by more controversy and mudslinging than any recent contests. Pratibha Patil, governor of the northwestern state of Rajasthan, is the candidate of the ruling Congress party and its allies, but her nomination has surprised many political observers because she lacks national stature and has been dogged by embarrassing scandals. Patil, 72, is pitted against Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, 84, the candidate of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and the serving vice president.