President election: President Ram Nath Kovind's term will end on July 24 this year. Thus an election is due to be held for electing a new President before July 24. Under the provisions of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952, the Election Commission of India can issue a notification calling the election on or after the sixtieth day before the expiry of the term of office of the outgoing President.
The process for electing the President is complex. It is quite unlike elections to the Lok Sabha or Legislative Assemblies. Let's understand how President is elected in India:
Who elects President?
A President is elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of elected members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the states including Delhi and Puducherry (both UT). The members nominated to either House of Parliament or the Legislative Assemblies are not eligible to be included in the electoral college.
In terms of numbers, the electoral college is made up of 543 members of Lok Sabha, 233 members of Rajya Sabha and 4,033 members of Legislative Assemblies - a total of 4,809 electors, according to the Election Commission of India data.
Electoral college formula
The value of the vote of every MP (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) is fixed at 700, the ECI said. Among states, the value of the vote of MLAs differs because of the strength of the Legislative Assembly and the population in the respective states. In order to stipulate uniformity in the scale of representation of different states in the election process, a formula based on the population of each state is used to determine the value of the vote of the members who are eligible to vote.
Therefore, the value of the vote of an MLA from Uttar Pradesh would be 208 which also happens to be the highest among all states. Accordingly, the total value of votes of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly would be 83,824 (208 x 403).
For the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs, the total value of votes of all states and UTs is divided by the total number of MPs (elected) to get the value of votes per MP. The total value of votes of all states and UTs is 5,43,231, as per the ECI.
Therefore, the total value of the votes of MPs would be 5,43,200 (700 x 776).
Accordingly, the total value of the electoral college, comprising 4,809 electors would be 10,86,431 (5,43,200 + 5,43,231). The winning candidate has to get at least 50 per cent plus one vote to be declared elected.
Understanding the manner of voting
The presidential election follows the system of proportional representation by means of a single transferable vote. The ballot paper does not contain any election symbol. There are two columns on the ballot paper. The first column contains the name of the candidates. The second column contains the order of preference.
The member of the electoral college casts his/her vote by placing figure 1 in the space next to the name of the contestant. The voter, if he/she wishes, can mark as many subsequent preferences on the ballot paper by placing the figures 2, 3, 4 and so on next to the name of the contestants.
No ballot paper is considered invalid solely on the ground that all such preferences are not marked by the electoral college member.
Although there have been only 14 Presidents as Dr Rajendra Prasad won the first two elections, the Presidential election to be held in 2022 would be the 16th to the office of the President of India -- the highest Constitutional post. The earlier elections to the office of the President of India were held in 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, 1969, 1974, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007, 2012 and 2017.