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Value of the vote of MPs in presidential elections:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

 

Context:

Due to the absence of a legislative assembly in Jammu and Kashmir, the value of the vote of a Member of Parliament is likely to go down to 700 from 708 in the presidential polls scheduled in July.

 

Background:

  • Before it was bifurcated into two union territories of Ladakh, and Jammu & Kashmir in August 2019, the erstwhile state of J&K had 83 assembly seats.
  • According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, the Union Territory of J&K will have a legislative assembly, while Ladakh will be governed directly by the Centre.

 

What is the value of the vote of an MP?

The value of the vote of an MP in a presidential election is based on the number of elected members in legislative assemblies of states and union territories, including Delhi, Puducherry and Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Value of vote – the trend:

  • The value of vote of a Member of Parliament for the first Presidential election in 1952 was 494.
  • It increased marginally to 496 in the 1957 presidential election, followed by 493 (1962), 576 (1967 and 1969).
  • In the 1974 presidential election, the value of vote of an MP was 723. It has been fixed at 702 for the presidential elections from 1977 to 1992.

 

How is the President elected?

  • The Indian President is elected through an electoral college system, wherein the votes are cast by national and State-level lawmakers.
  • The elections are conducted and overseen by the Election Commission (EC) of India.

 

Electoral College:

The electoral college is made up of all the elected members of the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament (Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha MPs), and the elected Members of the Legislative Assemblies of States and Union Territories (MLAs).

 

What electoral system/process is followed for the election to the office of the President?

The election of the President shall be held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote and the voting at such election shall be by secret ballot.

 

Procedure:

  • Before the voting, comes the nomination stage, where the candidate intending to stand in the election, files the nomination along with a signed list of 50 proposers and 50 seconders.
  • These proposers and seconders can be anyone from the total members of the electoral college from the State and national level.
  • An elector cannot propose or second the nomination of more than one candidate.

 

What is the value of each vote and how is it calculated?

To calculate the number of voters each legislator represents, the total population of the state is divided by the number of assembly members and then divided by 1,000.

  • The combined value of all the MPs’ votes is roughly equal to the combined value of all the MLAs’.

 

Current Affairs

 

Deciding the winner:

  1. The winner of the Presidential election is not the person who gets the most number of votes, but the person who gets more votes than a certain quota.
  2. The quota is decided by adding up the votes polled for each candidate, dividing the sum by 2 and adding ‘1’ to the quotient.
  3. The candidate who polls more votes than the quote is the winner. In case, no one gets more votes than the quota, then the candidate with the lowest number of votes is eliminated.
  4. Then, the eliminated candidates’ ballot papers are distributed between the remaining hopefuls based on those ballot papers’ second preference choice.
  5. The process of counting the total votes for each candidate is then repeated to see if any one polls above the quota.

 

Insta Curious:

What are the Qualifications required by a candidate to contest the election to the Office of the President of India? Reference: read this.

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Election of President.
  2. Eligibility.
  3. Electoral College.
  4. Powers and functions.
  5. Value of votes of MPs and MLAs.

Mains Link:

How is the President of India elected? Comment on the nature and role of political parties in election of the President in India.

 

[ Try this Question:

 

With reference to the election of the President of India, consider the following statements:

  1. The value of the vote of each MLA varies from State to state.
  2. The value of the vote of MPs of the Lok Sabha is more than the value of the vote of MPs of the Rajya Sabha.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both
  4. None

Comment your answer]

Sources: The Print.