As President Pranab Mukherjee’s term is set to expire on July 24 2017, it is yet to be seen who will take up the job next. AIADMK (Tamil Nadu), BJD (Odisha), TRS (Telangana), YSRCP (Andhra Pradesh), AAP (Delhi and Punjab) and INLD (Haryana) – these six political parties have cumulatively held a 13 per cent vote-share in the Presidential Electoral College.
It means that this group can make the contest interesting and in their domestic state-level political considerations, these parties maintain equidistance from BJP and Congress.
The contest between the ruling party and the opposition could turn out to be evenly poised provided the Congress-led opposition managed to get the support of the aforementioned group of parties. The 35.47 per cent votes of the opposition plus 13.06 per cent vote share of these six parties totals 48.53 per cent, which is just short of the 48.64 per cent of the vote share of NDA in the presidential contest.
Now, the NDA requires the support of just one party or two smaller ones from this group to surpass the majority mark.
How a President is elected in India?
In India, a President is elected through an electoral college comprising of elected members of the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and the legislative assemblies of every state and Union Territory.
A fixed number of votes are given to every MLA of a state and that number is proportional to the population of the state.
Presidential Electoral College consists of all Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs and the members of 31 legislative assemblies. As of 2017, the electoral college comprises of 784 MPs and 4,114 MLAs. The total strength of Electoral college is 11,04,546 votes.
Based on a formula under the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Election Rules, 1974, the vote values of the college differ. The value of each MP’s vote is 708, while the value of each MLA’s vote differs according to the size of the respective state assemblies and population.
Each UP MLA has highest vote value of 208, whereas each Sikkim MLA has the lowest vote value of 7.
The nomination of a candidate for election to the office of the President must be subscribed by at least 50 electors as proposers and 50 electors as seconders. The election is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the Single transferable vote method. The voting takes place by secret ballot. The manner of election of President is provided by Article 55 of the Constitution.