The current and 14th President of India is Ram Nath Kovind. He is the head of the executive, legislature and judiciary of the country. That is the President of India is the head of the state and is known as the first citizen of India.
Articles from 52 to 78 Part V of the Indian Constitution deals with the Union Executive. The President of India acts as a symbol of unity, integrity and solidarity of the nation. Union Executive consists of the President, Vice-President, the Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers and the Attorney General of India.
President is an important part of Union Executive and is also important in the preparation of the Civil Services Examination for all the three stages whether Prelims, Mains and Interview.
Here, we are covering in detail about the election procedure of the President of India.
About President of India
As discussed above is the head of the state, part of the Union Executive, the first citizen of India and is a symbol of unity, solidarity and integrity of the nation.
Election of the President of India or How is the President of India elected?
President is not directly elected by the people but by the members of the electoral college that consist of:
– the elected members of both the Houses of the Parliament that is the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
– the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the states. Here is to note that, the Legislative Councils have no role in this.
– the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry.
Who does not participate in the election of the President of India?
The nominated members of both the Houses of Parliament, the nominated members of the state legislative assemblies, the members both elected and nominated of the state legislative councils in case of a bicameral legislature and the nominated members of the Legislative Assemblies of Delhi and Puducherry do not participate in the election of President.
First, we will understand about the vote of an MLA, and MP
In the Constitution of India, it is mentioned that there shall be uniformity in the scale of representation of different states as well as parity between the states as a whole and the Union at the election of the President. Therefore, to achieve this, the number of votes that are to be cast with each elected member of the legislative assembly of each state and the Parliament at such election shall be determined as given below:
Value of the vote of an MLA = Total Population of state/ Total number of elected members in the state legislative assembly X 1/1000
Value of the vote of an MP = Total value of votes of all MLAs of all states/ Total number of elected members of Parliament
The election of the President is held in accordance with with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote and the voting is done by the secret ballot. This system is to ensure that the successful candidate is coming to power or returned by the absolute majority of votes.
Here one thing is important, that a candidate, in order to declare elected to the office of President, must secure a fixed quota of votes.
The quota of votes is determined by dividing the number of candidates to be elected, here only one candidate to be elected as President plus one and adding one to the quotient.
Each member of the electoral college is given only one ballot paper. The voter who is casting the vote has to indicate his preference by marking 1, 2,3, 4, etc. against the names of the candidates. We can say that the voter can indicate as many preferences as there are candidates in the fray.
In the first phase, the first preference of the votes is counted. If in case, the candidate secures the required quota in this phase then he or she is declared elected. Otherwise, the procedure of transfer of votes is set in motion.
Now, the ballots of the candidates securing the least number of the first preference of votes are cancelled and his second preference votes are transferred to the first preference votes of other candidates. This process continues until a candidate secures the required quota.
All doubts and disputes regarding the election of the President are inquired into and decided by the Supreme Court whose decision is final.
Also, the election of the President cannot be challenged on the ground that the electoral college was incomplete.
If the election of a person as President is declared void by the Supreme Court then acts done by him before the date of such declaration of the Supreme Court are not invalidated and continue to remain in force.