How India elects its President | India News

NEW DELHI: The election for the next President of India would be held on July 18 for which 4,809 members of the electoral college comprising MPs and MLAs will vote, the Election Commission (EC) announced on Thursday.
The term of President Ram Nath Kovind ends on July 24 and the poll would decide his successor.
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said at a press conference that the notification for the poll will be issued on June 15, and June 29 will be the last date for filing of nominations.

Here is how the election for the top constitutional post in India is held:
The president of the country is elected in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the Presidential and vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952. The President holds office for a period of five years.

How India selects its President

How India selects its President

Electoral college:
The president is elected by an electoral college, which consists of the elected members of both Houses of Parliament and the elected members of the Legisl Assemblies of all the States and also of NCT of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
Under Article 324 of the Constitution of India, the authority to conduct elections to the Office of President is vested in the Election Commission of India. As per Article 55(3) of the Constitution of India, 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.


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To be a candidate for the top position, a candidate must be a citizen of India and must have completed 35 years of age. He must be eligible to be a member of the Lok Sabha. The candidate should not be holding any office of profit under the Government of India or any state government. However, the candidate may be holding the office of President or Vice-President or Governor of any State or Ministers of the Union or any State and shall be eligible to contest election.
A nomination paper of a candidate for the election has to be made in the prescribed form and it has to be subscribed by at least fifty electors as proposers and at least fifty electors as seconders. Electors refers to MPs and MLAs. The nomination paper duly completed in all respects has to be presented to the Returning Officer, between 11AM and 3PM on any day other than on a public holiday appointed for the purpose by the Election Commission, either by the candidate himself or by any of his proposers or secondaries.
The Security Deposit for the election, of Rs.15000/- should also be deposited either in cash with the Returning Officer or a receipt showing that the amount has been deposited by the candidate or on his behalf in the Reserve Bank of India or in a Government Treasury should be furnished along with the nomination paper.
The candidate is also required to furnish a certified copy of the entry showing his name in the current electoral roll for the Parliamentary Constituency in which the candidate is registered as an elector.
Returning officer:
By convention, the Secretary General, Lok Sabha or the Secretary General, Rajya Sabha is appointed as the Returning Officer, by rotation.
Secretary general of Rajya Sabha would be the returning officer for this poll.
Two other senior officers of the Lok Sabha/ Rajya Sabha Secretariat and the Secretaries and one more senior officer of Legislative Assemblies of all States including NCT of Delhi and Union Territory of Puducherry, are also appointed as the Assistant Returning Officers.
Where is the election held?
A Room in the Parliament House in New Delhi and a room in the Secretariat building of State Legislative Assemblies in each state, including NCT of Delhi and UT of Puducherry are generally fixed as places of poll, by the Election Commission. The ballot papers are printed in two colors- in green for use by Members of Parliament and in pink for use by the Members of the State Assemblies.
Only the marking of first preference is compulsory for a ballot paper to be valid. Marking other preferences is optional.
Value of votes:
The value of votes of MLAs differs from state to state. However, the value of votes of all MPs is the same.

The value of votes of electors is basically determined on the basis of population of the states in accordance with the manner laid down in Article 55(2) of the Constitution. The value of the vote of each member of a State Legislative Assembly included in the Electoral College is calculated by dividing the population of the State concerned (as per 1971 Census) by the total number of members of the Assembly, and then further dividing the quotient by 1000.

How is the value of MP votes calculated?

The total value of these votes is added and it is divided by the number of elected members in both Lok Sabha (543) and Rajya Sabha (233). By this method it works out that the value of the votes of each MP is 708. In 2007 presidential election the total value of the votes of 776 MPs was 549408, while for the 4120 MLAs it was 549474 (the numbers are slightly different because of rounding off the decimals). One can see that the constitution guarantees that the neither the union nor the states will have advantage. This is done because apart from being the ceremonial head of the country, the president is responsible for appointing the prime minister. In a situation when no party or coalition gets clear majority, it is the president who exercises his/her discretion and this can be crucial.
Anti-Defection Law:
Members of the Electoral College can vote according to their wish and are not bound by any party whips. The voting is by secret ballot. Therefore, Party whip does not apply in this election.An elector under detention can cast his vote through preventive postal ballot, which will be sent to him by the Election Commission on the place of his detention. [see Rule 26 of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Rules, 1974].
The counting of votes is done in the office of the Returning officer at New Delhi and the result is declared.


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