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17 Opposition parties to field a candidate for the Presidential poll

Gs paper-2

Syllabus: Presidential election, Constitutional bodies.

 

Context:

  • Consultations on putting up a joint candidate for the Presidential election, 17 Opposition parties attended a meeting hosted by West Bengal Chief Minister.

 

Constitutional provisions regarding President

  • Part V of the Constitution (The Union) under Chapter I (The Executive) lists out the qualification, election and impeachment of the President of India.
  • The President of India is the head of state of the Republic of India.
  • The President is the formal head of the executive, legislature and judiciary of India and is also the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • Article 54: Election of President
  • Article 55: Manner of election of President.
  • Article 56:Term of office of President
  • Article 57: Eligibility for re-election.
  • Article 58: Qualifications for election as President

 

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.
  • 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)
    • Elected Members of the Legislative Assemblies of States and Union Territories (MLAs).

 

 

Procedure:

  • Before the voting, comes the nomination stage, where the candidate intends 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.
  • The rule for securing 50 proposers and seconders was implemented when the EC noticed, in 1974, that several candidates, many without even a bleak chance of winning, would file their nominations to contest the polls.
  • An elector cannot propose or second the nomination of more than one candidate.

 

Value of each vote and how is it calculated?

  • A vote cast by each MP or MLA is not calculated as one vote.
  • The fixed value of each vote by an MP of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha is 708.
  • Meanwhile, the vote value of each MLA differs from State to State based on a calculation that factors in its population vis-a-vis the number of members in its legislative Assembly.
  • The value of each MLAs vote is determined by dividing the population of the State by the number of MLAs in its legislative Assembly, and the quotient achieved is further divided by 1000.
  • Uttar Pradesh has the highest vote value for each of its MLAs, at 208.
  • The value of one MLAs vote in Maharashtra is 175, while that in Arunachal Pradesh is just 8.

 

 

Requirements to secure a victory in Presidential election:

  • A nominated candidate does not secure victory based on a simple majority but through a system of bagging a specific quota of votes.
  • While counting, the EC totals up all the valid votes cast by the electoral college through paper ballots and to win, the candidate must secure 50% of the total votes cast + 1.
  • Unlike general elections, where electors vote for a single party’s candidate, the voters of the electoral college write the names of candidates on the ballot paper in the order of preference.
  • The President’s election is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting is by secret ballot.

 

Insta Links

Prelims link:

  1. Powers of President
  2. Election of President
  3. Article related to election of President
  4. Electoral college
  5. Calculation of the value of a vote in the presidential election
  6. How is President elected

Mains link:

  1. How is the president in India elected? Do you there is a need for reforming the process? Analyze. (15M)

 

Q1. With reference to Election of Presidential of India, consider the following statements:

  1. To win the Presidential election, the candidate must secure 50% of the total votes cast + 1.
  2. Uttar Pradesh has the highest vote value for each of its MLAs than Maharashtra.
  3. The candidate intending to stand in the election, files the nomination along with a signed list of 50 proposers and 20 seconders.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 1 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)