How is the President of India elected?
The Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the schedule of the Presidential election later on Thursday. The tenure of President Ram Nath Kovind is scheduled to end on July 24, hence the process of the election of the president and the counting of votes must be complete before that.
The President of India, like any other democracy, is elected by the people of the country, however, not directly. The Presidential elections work on the concept of the electoral college, which means that all the representatives chosen by the people of India to the respective public offices on state and national levels, vote to elect the President.
However, the representatives who are nominated to the houses like nominated members of the Rajya Sabha and nominated members of the state legislative assembly.
Who can become the President of India?
Can you become the President of India? Well, yes, anybody who is a citizen of India and can fulfil some additional conditions is eligible to become a President.
The minimum age required for someone to become the President is 35 years and the candidate must be qualified for the election as a member of the House of the People, the Lok Sabha.
The candidate must not hold any office of profit. Additionally, the Presidential candidate also needs the official backing of at least 50 proposers and 50 seconders, who can be either state or national level public representatives.
This rule was introduced to rule out bogus nominations, in this way, the candidates who have no chance of winning will not apply to become the President.
How to elect a President?
While the ‘who’ part of the Presidential elections is not very complicated the ‘how’ is... with the elaborate system of proportional voting. It means that the value of each vote is different based on their post. The value of each vote based on the population is also predetermined for an MLA vote.
The value of the vote of a Member of Parliament is 700, which means the final scores are counted accordingly. The value of the vote of a Member of the state/UT Legislative Assembly is determined based on the population of the state. For example, an MLA from Uttar Pradesh – the most populous state of India, has the highest value among the states with a score of 208. Since there are 403 MLAs in UP, their total value of votes is 83,824.
Similarly, the value of 80 MPs’ votes from Uttar Pradesh is 80*700, that is 56,000. This amounts to a total of 12.9 percent votes for Presidential polls from UP alone with a total of 139,824 votes.
Other smaller states in the country have lower values for MLA votes.
In this way, a total of more than one million votes are cast for the Presidential elections from across India.
Counting of Votes:
Unlike other elections, the clear winner is not someone who gets the maximum votes but getting more votes than a defined quota. The quota is determined by dividing the sum of valid votes by 2 and adding one to the quotient.
A candidate can only be declared the winner if he gets more total votes than the defined quota.
Will Kashmir be participating in the Presidential polls?
Elected members representing Jammu and Kashmir in both the Houses of Parliament will be participating in the Presidential elections, however, there will be no representatives from the Legislative Assembly.