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Presidential Election in India

Presidential Election in India

In News

Fifteen candidates have filed their nominations recently for the presidential election with the papers of three of them rejected for want of proper documents.

About the News

  • The poll to elect the successor to incumbent President of India will be held on July 18 for which the nomination process has begun.
  • The 2022 presidential election will be the 16th presidential election to be held in India.
  • The elections are conducted and overseen by the Election Commission (EC) of India.

Presidential Election in India

  • Background: The first presidential election in India after Independence was held on May 2, 1952 in which Rajendra Prasad, was elected the President.
    • He is the only person till date to hold the President’s office for two terms.

How is the President elected in India?

  • Electoral College: The Indian President is elected through an electoral college system, wherein the votes are cast by national and State-level lawmakers.
    • The electoral college is made up of all the elected members of the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament (Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha MPs), and the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of States and Union Territories (MLAs).

Process of Election

  • Before the voting, comes the nomination stage, where the candidate intending to stand in the election, files the nomination along with a signed list of 50 proposers and 50 seconders.
  • These proposers and seconders can be anyone from the total members of the electoral college from the State and national level.
  • An elector cannot propose or second the nomination of more than one candidate.
  • The rule for securing 50 proposers and seconders was implemented to avoid nominations by non-serious candidates whose chance of winning is bleak.

What is the value of each vote and how is it calculated?

  • A vote cast by each MP or MLA is not calculated as one vote. There is a larger vote value attached to it.
  • The fixed value of each vote by an MP of the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha is
  • The value of each MLA’s vote is determined by dividing the population of the State by the number of MLAs in its legislative Assembly, and the quotient achieved is further divided by 1000.
    • Uttar Pradesh for instance, has the highest vote value for each of its MLAs, at The value of one MLA’s vote in Maharashtra is 175, while that in Arunachal Pradesh is just 8.
  • The total votes of each Legislative Assembly are calculated by multiplying the vote value of each MLA by the number of MLAs.
  • As per the Constitution (Eighty-fourth Amendment) Act 2001, currently, the population of States is taken from the figures of the 1971 Census which will change after the 2026 Census.

Declaration of victory

  • A nominated candidate does not secure victory based on a simple majority but through a system of bagging a specific quota of votes.
  • While counting, the EC totals up all the valid votes cast by the electoral college through paper ballots and to win, the candidate must secure 50% of the total votes cast + 1.
  • Unlike general elections, where electors vote for a single party’s candidate, the voters of the electoral college write the names of candidates on the ballot paper in the order of preference.
  • The President’s electionis held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting is by secret ballot.

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