India's next president is all set to be elected on Monday. The contest is between the ruling NDA's nominee Ram Nath Kovind and UPA's candidate Meira Kumar. However, the number is stacked up in favour of Kovind, with nearly 70 percent of the electoral college expected to support the former Bihar governor. Meira, on the other hand, is expected to be backed by 17 Opposition parties, including the Congress.
The president is elected by the electoral college, which comprises the MPs in both Houses of the Parliament and the MLAs in all Assemblies across India. MLCs of states with Legislative Council are not part of the electoral college.
While the Lok Sabha Speaker, an elected member, can vote, the two nominated members in the Lower House from the Anglo-Indian community cannot. Twelve nominated members in Rajya Sabha are also ineligible.
Since the election is through a secret ballot, the parties cannot issue a whip to their members to vote for a particular candidate.
The total value of votes of the electoral college is 10,98,903, and the NDA candidate is slated to cross the halfway-mark and get about 63 per cent votes.
The value of every vote of an MP is 708 while that of an MLA varies from state to state depending on the size of its population.
Uttar Pradesh is the most populated state in India. As a result, MLAs from the state enjoy the highest value of vote: 208. MLAs from Sikkim, on the other hand, have the lowest vote value: seven.
The total value of votes of 776 Members of Parliament is 5,49,408, while the total value of votes of 4120 MLAs adds up to 549474. The total value of votes in the electoral college adds up to 10,98,882.
The NDA has 5,37,683 votes, with the shortage of around 12,000 votes. However, in the electoral arithmetic, Kovind has a distinct advantage over Meira, a former Lok Sabha Speaker, with non-NDA parties like Janata Dal (United) and Biju Janata Dal (BJD), who are not allied with BJP, deciding to vote for him.
The Janata Dal (United) has about 1.91 percent of electoral college votes, while the BJD of Odisha has 2.99 percent. In addition, the ruling TRS in Telangana (two percent), different factions of AIADMK (5.39 percent), YSR Congress (1.53 percent) have also announced their support to Kovind.
While 2180 MLAs and 530 MPs support the NDA candidate, 1,628 MLAs and 232 MPs belonging to 17 Opposition parties back Meira.
According to The Indian Express, Kovind began with the support of 28 parties but now has the backing of 42. The counting of votes will take place on 20 July in New Delhi where all the ballot boxes will be brought from various state capitals.
With inputs from IANS
Updated Date: Jul 17, 2017 10:42:43 IST