The names are in and the stage is set for the 2022 Presidential elections in India. The Election Commission of India has scheduled the date for the 16th Presidential election on July 18 and the counting of votes would be held on July 21, if needed. A total of 4,809 electors comprising MPs and MLAs will vote to elect Ram Nath Kovind's successor. Kovind’s tenure will be ending on July 24 following which the new President will be sworn in on July 25. While the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance has zeroed in on former Jharkhand Governor and tribal leader Droupadi Murmu for the prestigious post, former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha has been named as the joint candidate of the Opposition. Scrutiny of the nominations will take place on June 30 and the last date for withdrawal of nominations will be July 2.
How are Presidential elections held?
Presidential elections are held after the elected predecessor's end of term, death, resignation, or removal by the Supreme Court, or by impeachment.
The President of India is elected through indirect elections held by an electoral college comprising the members of both the Houses of Parliament and members of the legislative assemblies of all the States and Union Territories.
Who can file nominations?
The EC filed a notification in this regard on June 15. As per the notification, the nominations can be filed till June 29 and the scrutiny of the papers will be held on June 30. The last date for withdrawing from the electoral fray is July 2. The counting will take place on July 21. Candidates would need 50 electors as proposers and 50 others as seconders, besides an amount of ₹15,000 as security.
The candidate must be a citizen of India and should have completed the age of 35 years, besides being qualified for election as a member of the House of the People. The person will not be eligible if he/she holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State or under any local or other authority that is controlled by any of the state governments.
Who can vote and how does the voting happen?
According to Article 55 of the Constitution, the President of India is elected by members of the Electoral College consisting of elected Members of Parliament and of all the state assemblies including the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
The total number of electors for the election will be 4,809 – 776 MPs and 4,033 MLAs. These include 233 Rajya Sabha members and 543 from Lok Sabha. While the MPs will cast their vote in Parliament, the MLAs will do so in their respective state assemblies. The voting follows the system of proportional representation utilizing a single transferable vote system and secret ballots.
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Nominated members of Parliament, state assembly and members of legislative council are not eligible to vote. In other words, members who are nominated to either House of Parliament or the Legislative Assemblies of States, including NCT of Delhi and UT of Puducherry are not eligible to be included in the Electoral College.
What is the electoral formula?
This year, the value of the vote of an MP has been fixed at 700. The Election Commission stated, "The value of the vote of an MP will be 700. Those in preventive detention can vote and those in jail will have to apply for parole and if they get parole, they can vote."
Among states, the value of the vote of MLAs differs because of the strength of the Legislative Assembly and the population in the respective states. However, to maintain uniformity of the representation among MLAs, a formula is applied based on the population of the state. The total population of the state (as per 1971 census) divided by the total number of elective seats in the Legislative Assembly, multiplied by 1000 equals the value of votes of members of Electoral College (MLAs).