After Shri Pranab Mukherjee, whose term of office expired on 24 July 2017, we got our 14th President Shri Ram Nath Kovind. Even after 14 presidents, not every one of us is through with how the Presidential elections happen in India.
If you haven’t decided who you will vote for in the next presidential elections then don’t worry because you don’t get to vote. The President is elected indirectly by the people. All the members of the parliament and state legislative assemblies vote for the President who serves five- year occupancy. It is to be noted that the nominated members of parliament (celebrities/social figures) are not allowed to vote.
Who is eligible to be our President?
- A person who is a citizen of India.
- He/she should have completed 35 years of age.
- One who has qualified to be a member of the Lok Sabha.
- One who is not holding any office of profit under the government of India or any State or any local government body.
The vacant position is filled by an electoral college consisting of the MPs, MLAs and members of two union territories (Delhi and Puducherry). Basically, 4120 MLAs and 776 MPs elect the President. The election process of President is more wide-spread and broad process than the Prime Minister election. The presidential election is a secret ballot procedure. The ballot paper doesn’t include symbols and party names. There are two columns; the first one has the name of the contender and the second is left blank. Voters can give the rank of preference.
The nomination of a candidate for election to the President office must be promised by at least 50 electors as recommenders and 50 electors as seconders. Each candidate is required to make a security deposit of INR 15,000 in the Reserve Bank of India. The security deposit is likely to be given up in case the candidate can’t secure at least 1/6th of the votes polled.
How we calculate the value of the vote of an MP
Value of Vote of an MP = Total value of votes of all MLAs of all States/Total Number of Elected MPs of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
The worth of an MLA’s vote differs from state to state, majorly to point towards the population of each state. To get at this value, the total population (as per 1971 census) of the state is divided by the total number of elected members of that particular assembly and then the quotient is divided by 1000. Going by this calculation, the value of a single MLA vote in UP is 208, in Sikkim is only 7 and in Delhi is 58. The sum value of all the members of each state is attained by multiplying the total number of seats in the assembly by the number of votes for each member.
Let’s take Uttar Pradesh example:
Number of assembly seats= 403
The population of UP as per 1971 census= 83849905
Value of each MLA’s vote= 83849905/(403×1000)= 208
Total value of votes for all the state MLAs= 208×403 = 83,824
The same process goes for all the other states.
MP’s vote value remains the same across Houses
Only the elected members of both the Houses are acceptable to vote. The value of the vote of a member is calculated by dividing the total value of MLA votes by the number of elected MPs in both Houses. The value of an MP vote is higher than the value of an MLA’s vote. Let us take the example from 2017 elections:
The total value of votes of all the MLAs= 5,49,495
Total number of MPs= 543(Lok Sabha) + 233 (Rajya Sabha) = 776
Value of vote of each MP= 5,49,495/776= 708
Total value of votes of all the MPs= 776×708= 5,49,408
Both the values of MP and MLA votes are added to the total value of the votes for the presidential election:
Total value of MP votes (5,49,408) + Total value of MLS votes (5,49,495)= 10,98,903
Voters list the candidates in order of the first choice
Each MP and MLA positions the nominated candidates in order of preference. For winning, a candidate needs more than 50% of the votes. If there is no obvious winner, the candidate with the least number of votes is dropped out. The votes given to that candidate are then shared out based on the immediate preference. This process continues till one final candidate gets the required majority.