On July 24, President Ram Nath Kovind’s term will end. The Indian Presidential Election 2022 to choose a new President will be held on July 18, and the counting will occur on July 21. The new President will be sworn in on July 25.
This year’s Presidential election will be the 16th held for the office, starting with the first-ever election in 1952. Kovind was elected President in July 2017.
Rajiv Kumar, the Chief Election Commissioner, gave information about the Presidential election at a press conference on Thursday (June 9).
Chief Electoral Officer V. Kumar said nominations for the presidential election will be accepted from June 15 to June 29, and the screening will be done on June 30 and June 2, respectively.
A political party cannot force voters to cast their ballots a certain way, he said. However, voting will be conducted in accordance with Covid protocols applicable in various states.
According to the EC, the Returning Officer for the current election for President will be the Secretary General of the Rajya Sabha, who is rotated to the position in conjunction with the Central Government.
How is President elected?
The President of India is elected by the Electoral College, which consists of MPs from both Houses of Parliament and State Legislative Assembly members (including Delhi and Puducherry’s NCTs), in accordance with Article 55 of the Constitution.
The Electoral College for the Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies of Delhi and Puducherry UTs cannot include members who have been nominated to one of the Houses.
There were 4,896 electors in the Electoral College in 2017 (233 in the Rajya Sabha, 543 in the Lok Sabha, and 4,120 in the state assemblies).
The EC has announced that the number of members in the next Lok Sabha will be 4,809 (MPs 776; MLAs 4,033), with a total vote value of 10,86,431 (MPs 5,43,200) (MLAs 5,43,231).
Eligibility for Indian Presidential Election
A person can’t be elected as President unless he or she meets three requirements—being a citizen of India, being at least 35 years old, and being eligible to sit in the House of People (Article 58).
Any person holding any position of profit with the Indian Government or a State Government or any Local or other Authority subject to State Government control is prohibited from being elected President.
Proposers and seconders
A candidate for President must obtain 50 signatures from voters as proposers and 50 signatures from voters as seconders. An elector may sign only one nomination petition per election, and his signature will be invalid on any petition other than the first one delivered if he signs more than one.
A candidate can file up to four nomination papers, but no more than one can be received by the Returning Officer.
A sum of ₹15,000 must be paid in addition to the nomination paper to secure the election’s security deposit.
How votes are calculated
Article 55 of the Constitution requires that the States be represented in Parliament in proportion to their population, with due regard for uniformity (as far as possible). In order to assure that the States are balanced among themselves as well as with the Union as a whole, the Constitution provides a population-based formula for determining the voting value of each MP and each MLA.
In the year 2001, the Eighty-fourth Amendment to the Constitution established that the population of the States for the purpose of computing the value of votes for the Presidential Election would be the population figure as determined at the 1971 census, unless the population figures for the first census to be conducted after year 2026 are released.
The value of each member’s vote in the State Assembly is calculated by multiplying the number of seats in the Assembly by the number of votes per member. The total value of votes of all the States is divided by the sum of the votes of Members of Parliament in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to determine the value of each Member of Parliament’s vote.
The election will be conducted using the ‘Proportional Representation’ proportional representation voting system, in which voters cast their ballots by secret ballot.
There are two columns on the ballot paper. “Name of Candidate” is listed in column 1, and “order of preference” is listed in column 2. There is no election symbol on the ballot paper.
It is mandatory for an Elector to express his/her first preference among the contesting candidates; hence, no ballot paper will be considered invalid solely on the ground that all such preferences were not marked.
“Marking can only be done through particular pens provided by the designated officials along with ballot paper. If marked with any other pen makes the vote invalid,” the EC said.
A voter, in casting his vote, shall place the number 1 in the space opposite the name of the candidate for whom he has the most preference, and may also indicate his subsequent preferences by writing the numbers 2, 3, 4, and so on in the spaces opposite the names of other candidates, in order of preference. The Commission said that Indian numerals, Roman numerals, or numbers in any Indian language could be used, provided they were not verbalised.
Place of voting
In normal situations, the MPs cast their votes at Parliament House in New Delhi, and the State Legislative Assemblies at their own Legislative Assemblies. However, if there is a circumstance that prevents MPs from voting at Parliament House, they may vote at any of the approved polling locations in the State Legislative Assemblies of Delhi/NCT of Delhi/Puducherry UT. The EC allows an MLA to vote at the polling location in Parliament House or at any of the approved polling locations in the Legislative Assembly of any other state/NCT of Delhi/Puducurious UT if the conditions are the same.
Prior to the election date, MPs/MLAs must apply to the Election Commission in the required format in order to receive it at least 10 days beforehand. The format for submitting such an application will be available with the Assistant Returning Officers and the Returning Officers.
Indian Presidential Elections: How is Voting done?
Voters in the Indian presidential election cast their ballots using a single transferable vote system, which is based on proportional representation. On the ballot, there are two columns instead of an election symbol. The first column includes the names of the candidates, and the second includes their order of preference.
Members of the electoral college are required to select a candidate and then count the votes, without abstaining from voting or invalidating ballots because of improper marks.
In India, the process and mechanism for selecting presidents have resulted in 14 presidents. We are waiting for the 15th president of India to take his oath. Below is a list of all the presidents of India along with their terms in office.
|26 January 1950 – 13 May 1962
|13 May 1962 – 13 May 1967
|13 May 1967 – 3 May 1969
|VV Giri (Acting President)
|3 May 1969 – 20 July 1969
|Mohammad Hidayatullah (Acting President)
|20 July 1969 to 24 August 1969
|24 August 1969 – 24 August 1974
|Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
|24 August 1974 – 11 February 1977
|Basappa Danappa Jatti (Acting President)
|11 February 1977 – 25 July 1977
|Neelam Sanjiva Reddy
|25 July 1977 – 25 July 1982
|Giani Zail Singh
|25 July 1982 – 25 July 1987
|25 July 1987 – 25 July 1992
|Shankar Dayal Sharma
|25 July 1992 – 25 July 1997
|K R Narayanan
|25 July 1997 – 25 July 2002
|APJ Abdul Kalam
|25 July 2002 – 25 July 2007
|25 July 2007 – 25 July 2012
|25 July – 25 July 2017
|Ram Nath Kovind
|25 July 2017 – Incumbent
Neelam Sanjiva Reddy became the first Indian President to be elected without opposition in 1977.
In the last elections, 36 nominations were rejected. Consequently, only one candidate with properly filed papers remained in the race – Neelam Sanjiva Reddy. As a result, no list of candidates to be voted on was required to be prepared or published.
“This was the first time when a candidate was declared elected to the highest office of the President of India without a contest,” the EC said.