Presidential Election 2017: UP, Uttarakhand wins give NDA an edge as Opposition camp unify to take on BJP's might

Editor's Note:  In a three-part series, Firstpost  analyses how the President of India is elected, how various parties are stacked up in terms of seats or votes and whether a united Opposition can defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate. In Part I of the series we read about the election process of the President and how the constitution gives equal weight to the Union of India as well as the states. In Part II we will take a look at how many votes does each party block have to determine who has the upper hand.

The electoral college comprises of members from the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and the Legislative Assemblies. Let's take a look at how the different political parties are stacked up across the three categories

I. Members of Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha has 543 members. Out of this two seats are currently vacant — Anantnag and Gurdaspur. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has a majority in Lok Sabha with 336 members. The Congress-led UPA has 49 members while the anti-BJP parties have 85 members. There are 71 members who belong to the neutral category. These parties are AIADMK, Biju Janata Dal, Telangana Rashtriya Samiti and Independents. They belong to neither NDA nor the UPA and have not taken a hard position against NDA in the house.

Here, it's important to note that:

NDA = BJP + SHS + TDP + LJSP + SAD + RLSP + AD + AINRC + JKPDP + NPF + NPP + PMK + SDF + SWP

UPA = Congress + IUML + RSP + KC(M)

Anti-BJP = AITC + CPM + YSRCP + NCP + SP + BSP + AAP + RJD + AIUDF + INLD + JDS + JDU + JMM + AIMIM + CPI + JKNC

Neutral = AIADMK + BJD + TRS + Independents

Therefore, in terms of electoral votes, with per value of vote of an MP at 708, this is likely to be the scenario.

CampsValue of votesTotal votes of Lok Sabha (in percentage)
NDA237,88862.10
UPA34,6929.10
Anti-BJP60,18015.70
Neutral50,26813.10
Total383,028100.00

Source: Politicalbaba.com

As you can see in the table above, the NDA camp leads the pack with 2.38 lakh votes accounting for 62% of total Lok Sabha votes of all electors. It’s nearly 2.5 times of UPA and anti-BJP votes combined together.

II. Members of Rajya Sabha
Rajya Sabha currently has 243 members out of which there are 12 nominated members who are not allowed to vote in the presidential election. Out of the 231 electors, NDA has 70, UPA 65, Anti-BJP 67 and Neutral 29 members. NDA is in minority in the Upper House.

Even if we assume all Neutral electors to vote for NDA candidate, it will still be lagging behind UPA + Anti-BJP electors by 32 seats in the Rajya Sabha. There are 10 MPs who will retire this year in July or August. Their term is likely to end just after the Presidential elections and will not have any impact on the process.

In terms of electoral votes, with per value of vote of an MP at 708, this is likely to be the scenario.

CampsValue of votesTotal votes of Lok Sabha (in percentage)
NDA49,56062.10
UPA46,0209.10
Anti-BJP47,43615.70
Neutral20,53213.10
Total163,548100.00

Source: Politicalbaba.com

While NDA is the single largest group with 49k votes or 30 percent, anti-BJP forces are in majority in Rajya Sabha. This is negated by the fact that total value of votes of Lok Sabha is 2.35 times Rajya Sabha.
On a combined basis, NDA leads the pack amongst electors of Parliament (both Upper as well as Lower House) with 53 percent of total votes.

CampsValue of votesTotal votes of Lok Sabha (in percentage)
NDA287,44852.6
UPA80,71214.8
Anti-BJP107,61619.7
Neutral70,80013.0
Total546,576100.00

Source: Politicalbaba.com

III. Members of Legislative Assemblies
As discussed in Part I, the value of votes of an MLA is not fixed, unlike the value of the vote of an MP. All 31 states including union territories (Delhi and Puducherry) which have state assemblies put together have 4,120 MLAs (four seats are currently vacant). The recent state Assembly wins particularly in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Manipur have given a significant boost to the BJP/NDA tally.

The NDA today has the highest number of MLAs in the country at 1,804 (44 percent). The UPA together with Anti-BJP parties has a slightly higher representation at 1,874 MLAs (45.5 percent). The neutral parties have 438 members.

The formula for the value of a vote is based on the population of the state as discussed in Part I. The value of the vote of an MLA is maximum in UP at 208, followed by Tamil Nadu and  Jharkhand at 176, Maharashtra at 175 and Bihar at 173. The BJP is in power in three of these states. The weighted average of the value of a vote of MLA is c.134. AIADMK which is in power in Tamil Nadu is currently maintaining a neutral stance, occupied in sorting out leadership issue.

In terms of electoral votes, this is likely to be the scenario:

CampsValue of votesTotal votes of Lok Sabha (in percentage)
NDA239,92343.7
UPA93,13717.0
Anti-BJP152,77627.8
Neutral63,10711.5
Total548,943100

Source: www.politicalbaba.com

The NDA leads the pack here as well with 2.4 lakh votes accounting for 44 percent of total MLA votes as per electoral college. The UPA plus Anti-BJP parties have slightly higher votes at 2.45 lakhs. This is in line with the representation in state assemblies.

BlocksLok SabhaRajya SabhaState AssembliesGrand TotalPercentage of Grand Total
NDA237,88849,560239,923527,37148.10%
UPA34,69246,02093,137173,84915.90%
Anti-BJP60,18047,436152,776260,39223.80%
Neutral50,26820,53263,107133,90712.20%
Total383,028163,548548,9431,095,5191,095,519

Consolidated Position of Electoral College

NDA is ahead at the moment in Electoral College votes. It enjoys c.5.27 lakh votes. UPA is way behind at 1.74 lakh votes. Even if one combines, Ant-BJP votes with UPA, they still lag behind NDA by 93k votes. Neutral Block which consists of TRS, BJD, AIADMK and Independents will play a crucial role.

Percentage support

To sum up, NDA is clearly ahead in the race thanks mainly to its performance in the state Assembly elections post its emphatic win in 2014. The UPA and anti-BJP forces are lagging behind by a good 8.5 percent. The neutral category electors (three regional parties and independents) hold the keys to which group gets its candidate elected.

In Part 3 of the special series on Presidential Election 2017, Firstpost will analyse the politics of the elections in the backdrop of opposition unity based on survival theme in the next and concluding series.

(This piece is based on the assumption that MPs and MLAs will vote for candidates backed by their parties and there is no cross voting. The analysis is only of first preference votes.)


Published Date: May 12, 2017 03:47 pm | Updated Date: May 12, 2017 03:46 pm

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