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Opinion

Have you ever wondered how is the President of India elected ? This is all you need to know

Kshitij Mohan

We are already in 2017 and Shri Pranab Mukherjee will be completing his term as the President of India this year. Very soon the process to elect the new president of India will commence. Have you ever wondered how is the President of India elected ? Well, let me take you through the much complex process. I have tried my best to simplify it. Hope it will help the readers.
  • The President of India is elected by an electoral college, which consists of all the ELECTED members of Lok Sabha + Rajya Sabha + Legislative assemblies of states (including Delhi and Pondicherry). The nominated members are NOT the part of electoral college.
  • Each member of the electoral college votes only once, but the value of the vote is different for each member. The value of the vote by an MP is more than the vote of an MLA. Also, the value of the vote of an MLA from Uttar Pradesh is the highest.
  • The value of a vote of each Member of Parliament is 708 (Why this number 708 will be explained later in the article)
  • The value of a vote of an MLA depends on the state. While the vote of an MLA from Uttar Pradesh has a value of 208 (highest), the vote of an MLA from Sikkim has a value of 7(lowest). Why so ? The reason behind it is the population of the state. Again, the population that is considered for this purpose is population as per 1971 census (42nd amendment, and extended by 84th amendment)
  • Population of UP as per 1971 census is 8,38,49,905.
    Number of seats in legislative assembly is 403.
    So, the value of each MLA’s vote will be calculated as follows :
    1. Divide the population of the state by 1000 (in this case 8,38,49,905 / 1000)
    2. Divide the above number by number of seats.
    So, in case of Uttar Pradesh, it turns out to be 83849/403 = 208
  • Now, sum of the votes for UP = 208 X 403 = 83824
    Similarly, sum of votes for all the 31 state assemblies of India turns out to be 549474.
  • Value of the vote of each Member of Parliament is the sum of votes of all states (549474), divided by the total number of elected MPs (543 in Lok Sabha + 223 in Rajya Sabha = 766).
    Hence, value of each MP’s vote = 549474/766 = 708
  • Total number of MLAs = 4120
    Total value of votes by MLAs = 549474
  • Total number of MPs = 766
    Total value of votes by MPs = 549408
  • Total value of votes of the electoral college = 10,98,882
So, in short,
An MP = 708 votes
An MLA from UP = 208 votes
An MLA from Bihar = 176 votes
An MLA from Sikkim = 7 votes
Everyone (all elected MPs and MLAs) cast their vote which have values as above. The presidential candidate who secures highest number of votes is elected the President of India. So, when there will be the election for president, a vote of Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi will be equal to 708 votes, a vote of Shri Nitish Kumar will be equal to 176 votes and the vote of Arvind Kejriwal will have a value of 58.
PS – Going by the current calculation, if BJP wants to elect its own President, it will have to perform exceedingly well. The numbers of BJP in Rajya Sabha (where each vote has a value of 708) and in states where MLA votes have higher value (Bihar, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu) is very less and therefore, it needs to do exceedingly well in UP to have its own candidate as the President. Else, it will have to find a consensus candidate !
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