C Times, 20 June 2017, Agartala
The stage is almost set for the Presidential poll 2017 which will be held in India on 17 July 2017, and counting will be done on 20 July 2017, five days before the incumbent of current President Sri Pranab Mukherjee’s term expires. The incumbent is eligible for re-election, as no term limits exist in India.
The President is elected by an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both houses of parliament, the elected members of the Legislative Assemble of the 29 states and the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union territories Delhi and Puducherry. As of 2017, the Electoral College comprises 776 MPs and 4120 MLAs. The total strength of Electoral College is 10, 98,882 votes. Halfway mark is 5, 49,442 votes. After state assembly elections and by-polls of 2017, NDA is short of nearly 20,000 votes.
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.
Ram Nath Kovind, the NDA’s presidential candidate, should have an easy passage to Rashtrapati Bhavan as the ruling alliance already has the committed support of 57.85% of the Electoral College which will elect the next President. Even if the opposition decides to field a candidate, the contest will largely remain academic.
The NDA’s current strength in the Electoral College is 5, 37,683, which is 48.93% of the total votes. This goes up to 57.85% votes with TRS (2%), AIADMK (5.39%) and YSR Congress (1.53%) already pledging support to the NDA candidate.
Late on Monday, BJD chief and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik came out in support of Kovind, adding 2.99% more votes to the NDA’s kitty. A former BJP Dalit Morcha chief, Kovind may not be acceptable to several opposition parties but the two key regional parties from his home state, Uttar Pradesh, may find it difficult to oppose him.
Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have hinted about possible support to the NDA nominee. Bihar chief minister and JD (U) chief Nitish Kumar have spoken positively about Kovind as the two shared a good rapport after the latter took over as governor of Bihar three years ago. Kumar though refused to commit support to the NDA candidate and said it would not be appropriate to comment on the issue.
The Presidential Election, determined by the 1971 census, 2017 statement of the value of votes of elected members of the State Legislative Assemblies as per provisions of Article 55(2) of the Constitution of India. The number of votes for MLAs are as follows:
|Name of the State/Union Territory||Number of Legislative Assembly seats (Elective)||Population (1971 Census)||Value of the vote of each MLA||Total value of votes for the State/Union Territory|
|1||ANDHRA PRADESH||175||27,800,586||159||159 x 175 = 27,825|
|2||ARUNACHAL PRADESH||60||467,511||8||8 x 60 = 480|
|10||JAMMU & KASHMIR||87||6,300,000||72||6,264|
|31||NCT OF DELHI||70||4,065,698||58||4,060|
The value of an MP’s vote is calculated by dividing the total value of all MLAs’ votes by the number of MPs. That is, the total Members of Parliament (Elected) = Lok Sabha (543) + Rajya Sabha (233) = 776
Value of each vote = 549,495 / 776 = 708.11, rounded to 708
Total value of votes of Parliament = 776 × 708 = 549,408
The number of votes for MPs are as follows:
|Name of the House||Number of Parliamentary seats (elective)||Value of the vote of each MP||Total value of votes for the House|
Total number of votes for Presidential electors are as follows:
|Elector||Total Number of Electors||Total value of votes|
|Members of Legislative Assemblies (elected)||4120||5,49,495|
|Members of Parliament (elected)||776||5,49,408|
VALUE OF EACH VOTE OF MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT TOTAL MEMBERS LOK SABHA (543) + RAJYA SABHA (233) = 776 5,49,495 =708 776 VALUE OF EACH VOTE = (B) TOTAL VALUE OF VOTES OF 776 MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT = 708 ×776 = 5,49,408 (C) TOTAL ELECTORS FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION = MLAs (4120) + M.Ps (776) = 4896 (D) TOTAL VALUE OF VOTES OF 4896 ELECTORS FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2017 = 5,49,495 + 5,49,408 = 10,98,903