Sunday, May 20, 2007

Electing the President of India

The minimum age limit is 35 years. At present the salary of the President is fixed at Rs. 50,000 per month.

A look at our Presidents and their tenures:

1. Dr. Rajendra Prasad: 26.01.1950 to 13.05.1962
2. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan: 13.05.1962 to 13.05.1967
3. Dr. Zakir Hussain: 13.05.1967 to 03.05.1969
4. V.V. Giri: 24.08.1969 to 24.08.1974
5. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed: 24.08.1974 to 11.02.1977
6. N. Sanjeeva Reddy: 25.07.1977 to 25.07.1982
7. Giani Zail Singh: 25.07.1982 to 25.07.1987
8. R. Venkataraman: 25.07.1987 to 25.07.1992
9. Shankar Dayal Sharma: 25.07.1992 to 25.07.1997
10. K. R. Narayanan: 25.07.1997 to 25.07.2002
11. APJ Abdul Kalam: 25.07.2002 to till date. (Tenure to end on 25.07.2007)

How is the President of India elected?

As our present President’s term is set to end, it is time we learn a bit about the Presidential election. The President is elected by an electoral college, consisting of the elected members of both Houses of Parliament and state legislative assemblies. For the Presidential elections, there are thus a total of 4,896 potential electors, consisting of 543 Lok Sabha members, 233 Rajya Sabha members and 4,120 MLAs.

The voting strength of each elector is different and is determined on the basis of proportional representation. The population of each state is divided by 1,000 and then by the number of elected MLAs in the assembly to yield the value of each MLA’s votes from that state. In all, the MLAs of all the assemblies put together have 5,49,474 votes. The system also tries to ensure a balance between the value of votes of MPs and state legislators. This is done by dividing the votes of all the MLAs by the number of MPs, which is 776, to work out the value of each MP’s votes. This yields a figure of 708 votes per MP. Hence the total value of the MPs’ votes is 5,49,408 (776 x 708). This is slightly different from the total votes of the MLAs due to rounding effect. The total votes in the electoral college thus is 10,98,882.

The Presidential contestant is declared elected when he secures a simple majority i.e., 1 vote more than half the total votes polled by the electoral college. The electoral college votes by a system of ‘single transferable vote’. What this means is that the contestants in the fray are given preferences by the voters. If no candidate reaches the simple absolute majority in the first round of counting, then the candidate with the least polled votes is eliminated and the second preferences marked in his polled votes are added to the respective contestants. The process is continued till one of the candidates reaches the simple absolute majority and is declared the winner.

The only occasion when second preference votes had to be taken into account was in 1969 when VV Giri led after the first round over Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy.


Jhonny said...

the process by which the president is elected is rubbish as the lected people the mantris elect them from lok and rajya sabha

the curropt MLAS....
so its always possibel that thy will elect that president which is good to them and not goood to the nation...
hence the presiednt remnins more of an stamp rather than an individual

the president should be given more powers and evn a common mann shouild be able to stand for the designaton....
but presently the candidate need 50+50 suport from the elected memnbers....

the process of electing is not good and needs some changes...

thi fact is reflected by that no elected president haad a tenure of more than 5 years after Dr.Rajendra Prasad..

Anonymous said...

I finally understood how votes are calculated and what exactly the term proportional representation means! Thank you so much for such a simple and informative post! :)

Anonymous said...

I finally understood how votes are calculated and what exactly the term proportional representation means! Thank you so much for such a simple and informative post! :)