With just weeks to go for the President of India 2017 elections, both the BJP-led government and the opposition are prepping to nominate President Pranab Mukherjee’s successor. Earlier, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi announced that the Indian Presidential elections will be held on July 17. The counting of votes is on July 20. President Mukherjee’s term ends on July 24. The BJP and its allies have enough support to have their chosen candidate elected. The opposition, led by Congress, however, is yet to select a common candidate for the Presidential polls.
As we near the 2017 Presidential polls, here’s a quick 10-point guide to help understand how things work:
1. When will the President of India 2017 elections be held?
The elections to choose the next President of India will be held on July 17, 2017.
2. When will results of Indian Presidential elections 2017 be declared?
The results of Presidential elections will be declared on July 20, four days before incumbent Pranab Mukherjee’s term ends. The new President is set to take charge on July 21.
3. Who elects the President of India?
The President of India is elected by the members of an electoral college which comprises national and state lawmakers.
4. What is an Electoral College and what is its role in the Indian Presidential Elections?
The President of India is chosen by the Electoral College, which consists of the following members:
Elected members of both Houses of Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha)
Elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States including NCT of Delhi and Union Territory of Puducherry.
In 2017, the total number of members in the Electoral College, as reported by the Election Commission of India, is 4896. The break-up is as follows:
Members of Rajya Sabha – 233
Members of Lok Sabha – 543
Total members of State Assemblies – 4120
Total – 4896
5. Is the President of India elected on the basis of obtaining a simple majority or by securing a majority mark?
The winning candidate – the elected President of India – needs to secure a certain quota of votes which is 50% of the valid votes polled +1.
In general Indian elections,each person casts one vote. However in Presidential elections, each elector (MPs and MLAs in this case) indicate their choices in case of multiple candidates, in an order of preference.
Thereafter, each vote cast is given a value which is based on various factors such as the first preference order, value of vote of each electorate (voter), etc.
A quick word about value of vote of each electorate:
Each MP and MLA vote has a certain value attached to it. This differs from state to state. Each Uttar Pradesh legislator’s vote has a value of 208. The value of votes from their counterparts in Arunachal Pradesh is just 8. Same goes for Parliamentarians.
The total combined value of votes in the Presidential elections is 10,98,903 — 5,49,408 for MPs and 5,49,495 for MLAs. The halfway mark is expected to be 5,49,442 votes. However, the actual halfway mark depends on valid votes.
6. Eligibility conditions to become the President of India?
To become the President of India, a candidate should have a valid nomination and fulfill the following requirements and conditions:
Should be a citizen of India
Should have completed the age of 35 years
Should be qualified for election as a member of Lok Sabha
Should be registered as an elector in any Parliamentary Constituency in India
The candidate shall not hold any office of profit
Candidate’s nomination form needs to be subscribed by at least 50 electors as proposers and 50 electors as seconders
The candidate cannot be a member of either House of Parliament or of a House of the Legislature of any state once he or she becomes the President.
7. Who conducts the election to the Office of President of India?
Election Commission of India conducts the elections to the Office of President.
8. Where will the President of India elections 2017 be held?
The elections for the President of India will be held in the Parliament House, New Delhi, and in all State Legislative Assembly Secretariats. The members cast their votes in a secret paper ballot. For 2017, the Election Commission directed that the ballot papers should be printed in two colours –
Green ballot papers for use by MPs
Pink ballot papers for use by MLAs
9. Where will the counting of votes for Presidential elections of India 2017 be held?
Counting of vote will take place in Delhi.
10. How long is the term for the President of India?
The President of India holds office for a term of five years from the date of assuming office.
Source: Election Commission of India website and NDTV