India’s Presidential election shall be held in July 2017, before President Pranab Mukherjee relinquishes office. The President is elected by indirect-election and through an electoral college comprising, the parliament and legislative assemblies.
How is the President elected and who are the contenders?
India’s Presidential election shall be held in July 2017, before President Pranab Mukherjee relinquishes office. The President is elected by indirect-election and through an electoral college comprising, the parliament and legislative assemblies. The Presidential election is conducted by single transferable vote and the system of proportional representation. The President is also the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces.
How is the President Elected?
- The electoral college of the President comprises members of both houses of Parliament (776 members), members of the legislative assembly of states and members of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territory of Puducherry and the National Capital Region of Delhi (4120 members).
- Each member of the electoral college of states gets a weighted-vote, based on proportional representation to the population of respective states.
- The total weightage of the Parliamentary vote is equal to the total votes of the states; ensuring equal balance between federal and state legislatures.
Who Controls the Presidential Vote?
- There are approximately 10.98 Lakh votes in the Electoral College and the winner is expected to secure the half-way mark of 5.49 Lakh votes.
- With BJP’s impressive wins in UP and Uttarkhand, they are now just 17,500 votes short of the half-way mark. With support from the BJD and AIADMK, they can ensure victory for their candidate, even without the support of other opposition parties.
If BJP were to accommodate a senior, LK Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi and Yashwant Sinha are potential candidates. However, BJP has enforced a retirement age of 75 years and hence, none may qualify. Alternative candidates could be Sushma Swaraj or Sumitra Mahajan. A third and preferable option could be to avoid a political candidate and nominate a person of eminence, who would add stature to the office of the First Citizen.