Thursday, April 27, 2017

Procedure for Election of President of India

The article has been written by Sachin Vashisht with minor additions from Harshit Dwivedi.

President is the head of the Union Executive of the Indian State.

The Union Executive consists of the President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers and the Attorney General of India.

The President of the country is considered to be the first citizen of India and he acts as the symbol of unity and integrity of our country.

The Union Executive is mentioned in Articles 52 to 78 in Part 5 of the Indian Constitution.

In this article we will talk about how the President of our country is elected.

The process and most importantly the number of votes each member of the Electoral College gets.

Election of the President of India


The President of India is not directly elected by the general people, he is elected by the members of a special electoral college.

This Electoral College consists of the following members:

1. The elected members of both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
2. The elected members of the state legislative assemblies
3. The elected members of the legislative assemblies of the union territories of Delhi and Puducherry.

As we know, there are nominated members in different houses of both the Parliament and state legislature.

So the nominated members of both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, nominated members of the state legislative assemblies, the members of the state legislative councils and the nominated members of the legislative assemblies of Delhi and Puducherry have no vote in the election of the president.

In case of the legislative councils, whether the members are nominated or elected, none of them participate in election of the president.

Let's suppose that the Legislative Assembly of a state has been dissolved.

In this case, the members of the dissolved Legislative Assembly are not qualified to vote in the Presidential elections.

This is valid even if fresh elections for the Legislative Assembly have not yet been held.

To conclude only elected members of the houses of Parliament, the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the state and the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the union territories of Delhi and Puducherry get a vote in the Presidential elections.

According to the Indian Constitution, there is a provision that there should be a uniformity in the scale of representation of different states in the Presidential elections.

The Indian Constitution also provides for parity between the states and the union government for the election of the President.

This simply means that for the election of the president, the status of both the states and the union governments shall be equal.

To achieve this goal of equal status, the members of the state legislatures and the parliament need to carry equal weight as far as their votes are concerned.

Special formulas were formulated in order to achieve this.

These formulas are different for the members of the Parliament and the members of the legislative assemblies.

The number of votes that every elected member of legislative assembly of the states and the members of the Parliament is entitled to cast at the presidential election, is determined in the following manner:-

Elected members of the State Legislature: - 


The number of votes that every elected number of a state has is equal to the total population of state divided by the total number of elected members in that state legislative assembly. This number is then divided by 1000.

Value of vote of an elected member of the legislative assembly   =

(Total population of the state) divided by (Total number of elected members in the state legislative assembly x 1000)

Let's take a simple example.

Assume that in the state of Goa, there are 40 Assembly seats which are filled by elected members.

The total population of the state is assumed to be 7 lakh.

Then if we apply the above formula, we divide 700000 by 40 giving a result of 70 thousand by 4.

Now we divide this number by 1000 giving a result of 70 by 4.

After simplifying to decimal point, we get the result 17.5.

Therefore every elected member's vote of the state legislative assembly of Goa, has a value of 17.5.

This means that a vote of 1 member is counted as 17.5 votes. I hope this is clear.

Elected members of both houses of the Parliament:-


Every elected member of the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha will have such a number of votes which is obtained by dividing the total number of votes assigned to the members of the legislative assemblies of all the States, by the total number of the elected members of both the houses of the Parliament.

Value of the vote of an elected member of the parliament =

(Total number of votes assigned to the MLAs of all states) divided by (Total number of elected members of the parliament 543 LS + 233 RS)

Every presidential candidate must secure a fixed quota of votes to win.

This quota is determined by dividing (the total number of valid votes polled) by (the total number of candidates to be elected plus 1).

The resultant number is again added one, giving us the exact electoral quota.

Mathematically,

Electoral quota = { (total number of valid votes polled) (1+1) } + 1

Each member of the Electoral College is given a paper on which he is required to markdown his preferences for the post of president.

For example if there are 4 candidates named A,B,C and D, then each member of the Electoral College shall write down all 4 names of the candidates in the order of his preferred preference.

If he wants candidate B to be his first preference, and candidate D to be his second preference, then taking arbitrary values for the rest, he should write the following sequence:-

1. B
2. D
3. A
4. C

This method is very efficient and in case a candidate secures the required quota of votes, then he is declared to be elected.

Otherwise transfer of votes takes place.

In this process, the ballots of the candidate who secured the least number of first preference votes, are distributed among the remaining candidates.

The basis for this distribution is the second preference of candidates marked on those ballots.

The moment a candidate secures the required quota of votes, the process is terminated and the president is elected.

In case of any doubts, you can mention it in the comments.

In the next article, we shall cover the Qualifications, Oath and Conditions Of the Office of President.

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