It’s Ram Nath Kovind vs Meira Kumar today. The elections to find Pranab Mukherjee’s successor will be held on July 17 and the results will be declared on July 20. As the members of Parliament are planning a farewell for the outgoing President on July 23, there is much buzz over who will be India’s fourteenth President. While former Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind is the NDA’s candidate for the President, Meira Kumar is Opposition’s choice to fight for the post. The President-designate will be sworn in on July 25.
But how is a president elected? Here is a break up to help you understand the process of Presidential elections.
Only the members of Parliament and the Members of the Legislative Assemblies are eligible to cast their votes for the President of India. The election is an indirect process because only elected representatives vote for the President. However, nominated members from both the houses and state assemblies are not allowed to be part of the election process.
Those who elect the President include Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members, Members of state assemblies, legislatures from NCT of Delhi and Union Territory of Puducherry.
To be eligible to become country’s President:
- A person need to be an Indian citizen
- A person should be above 35 years of age.
- The nomination paper of the candidate needs to be signed by minimum 50 voters.
- Must have qualified to become a member of Lok Sabha
- Should not hold any office of profit
The President is elected through the secret paper ballot system. The ballot papers will be in two colours – green and pink. The green ballot paper will be for MPs, whereas, the pink ballot paper will be for MLAs. Each MP and MLA has a certain number of votes.
The value of the vote of an MLA is determined by the total population of the state (1971 census) divided by the total members of the Assembly and further dividing it by 1000. The 1971 population census will be valid until the year 2026. However, the value of the vote of an MP is decided by dividing the total value of votes of all MLAs in the country, divided by the total number of elected MPs in both the Houses: (Lok Sabha) and Rajya Sabha. At present, the vote value of each MP is fixed at 708.
While in general elections, citizens vote for a candidate of their choice, in the Presidential elections, lawmakers have to vote for all candidates and give their preference. For example, if there are two candidates: A and B, the voter will vote for these two candidates as per its preference there out of these candidates, the voter will mark its first preference and second preference. One thing which is compulsory for the every lawmaker is to mark its first preference, if not done, the vote is considered invalid.
The winner of the election is announced after dividing the total number of votes by and then adding 1. For example, if there are three candidates in the election: X, Y and Z and the total number of valid votes are 20. Now, the winner will have 20/2+1 =11 votes.