As the presidential poll looms and Pranab Mukherjee and PA Sangma marshal their political bases in preparation, should both candidates be more concerned about the votes from legislators in south India more than those from the north?
According to a report in the DNA, thanks to a constitutional amendment by the NDA government making the 1971 census the basis on which the value of votes are calculated, the votes of legislators from states like Tamil Nadu have higher value than those of other more populous states like Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
An NGO has also written to the Election Commission of India pointing this out and seeking changes for the upcoming presidential poll pointing out that on the basis of the 1971 census there is inadequate representation given to people of states whose population has increased dramatically since 1971.
However, it does not mean that it improves PA Sangma’s chances given that he has support from the AIADMK and Jayalalithaa since he still doesn’t have the support of legislators from Uttar Pradesh whose vote still carries the highest value at 208. He can hope to make a dent in his opponent’s chances given that the value of a vote from a Tami Nadu legislator is the second highest.
Pranab Mukherjee can take heart from the fact that the Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party have already pledged support to his candidature and he also has the support of the JD(U) in Bihar.
Here’s how much weight each party has in the upcoming presidential election. It also explains why everyone is clamouring for Mamata Banerjee‘s support and why she’s keen on ensuring her partymen follow her diktat in the poll.
Given the political parties who have expressed their support for Pranab’s candidature it looks like he should be the next occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan. But if legislators lend a ear to PA Sangma’s call to vote with their conscience, who knows?