How the President of India is elected

J. Venkatesan

4,896 elected members of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies will vote on July 19

NEW DELHI: A total of 4,896 elected members of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies will vote in the 13th presidential poll on July 19.

The earlier elections were held in 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, 1969, 1974, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997 and 2002.

The President is elected under the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952, and the rules made thereunder, viz. "The Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Rules, 1974."

Calculating value of votes

The Constitution (84th Amendment) Act, 2001 provides that until the relevant population figures for the first census to be taken after 2026 are published, the population of the States for calculating the value of votes shall mean the population as ascertained in the 1971 census.

After calculating the total value of votes polled by each candidate, the Returning Officer totals up the value of all valid votes polled. The quota for declaring a candidate elected is determined by dividing the total value of valid votes by `2' and adding `one' to the quotient, ignoring the remainder, if any.

For example, assuming that the total value of valid votes polled by all candidates is 1,00,001, the quota required for getting elected is: 1,00,001 + 1 = 50,000.50 + 1 (Ignore.50);

Quota = 50,000+1 = 50,001.

After ascertaining the quota, the Returning Officer has to see whether any candidate secured the quota for being declared elected on the basis of the total value of first preference votes polled by him/her. If no candidate gets the quota on the basis of first preference votes, the Returning Officer will proceed with the second round of counting, during which the candidate having the lowest value of votes of first preference is excluded and his votes are distributed among the remaining candidates according to the second preference marked on these ballot papers. The other contestants receive the votes of the excluded candidate at the same value at which he/she received them in the first round of counting.

The Returning Officer will go on excluding the candidates with the lowest number of votes in subsequent rounds of counting until either one of the continuing candidates gets the required quota or only one candidate remains in the field and will declare him/her elected.

Forfeiture of deposit

A candidate will forfeit his/her deposit of Rs. 15,000 if he/she is not elected and the number of valid votes polled by him/her does not exceed one-sixth of the number of votes necessary to secure the return of a candidate at such an election. In other cases, the deposit will be returned.

A petition challenging an election to the office of President may be filed in the Supreme Court by any candidate or by 20 or more electors joined together as petitioners within 30 days of publication of the declaration containing the name of the returned candidate.

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