Election for the 13th President to succeed Pratibha Patil will be held, if necessary, on July 19. Counting of votes will be taken up on July 22. The poll notification will be issued on June 16.

Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath, announcing the poll schedule here on Tuesday along with Election Commissioner H.S. Brahma, said that the last date for filing nominations would be June 30. Papers would be scrutinised on July 2. The last date for withdrawals would be July 4. Rajya Sabha Secretary-General Dr. Vivek K. Agnihotri would be the returning officer.

Each nomination, with a security deposit of Rs.15000, had to be subscribed by at least 50 electors (MPs and MLAs) as proposers and seconders. An elector can subscribe to only one nomination paper as either a proposer or seconder.

Nominated members of Parliament and the Legislative Assemblies would not be eligible to vote, Mr. Sampath said.

MPs or MLAs who are in jail, even as undertrials, cannot vote, sources said. But an exception is made for those under preventive detention (under NSA, COFEPOSA, the Goondas Act, etc).

If an MP has been elected to the Legislative Assembly too when the poll is held, he can cast only one vote. He has to quit either of the seats within 14 days of his being elected.

Election for Vice-President is expected to be held around the first week of August. Here, only MPs (of both Houses) are eligible to vote. Lok Sabha Secretary-General T.K. Viswanathan will be the Returning Officer, sources said.

Dr. Rajendra Prasad, first President of Independent India, held the post for more than 12 years (26.1.1950 to 13.5.1962). Dr. Zakir Husain and Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed had terms less than three years as both died while in office. Ms. Patil has created history as the first woman President of the country.

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