Never has there been more anticipation over India’s presidential race than this year.
With the Election Commission announcing the dates for the presidential elections on Wednesday, both ruling NDA and the opposition have vehemently kept the identity of their prospective candidates under wraps.
As the date for the election for the top constitutional post approaches, here’s a look at the process of the presidential elections in India:
1. The President is elected by the members of the Electoral College that consists of elected members of both Houses of Parliament, and elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of all States, including National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
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2. Under a system of proportional representation that comprises of MPs and members of state legislative assemblies, a total of 4,896 voters will be casting their ballot.
3. However, the members of either Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha or Legislative Assemblies of the States along with the members of the Legislative Councils remain ineligible to be included as a member of the body and hence, cannot participate in the election.
4. Swearing by the constitutional declaration of secrecy, election for the office of President is carried out by a secret ballot. Scrupulous adherence to secrecy by the electors is expected at the time of voting.
5. This year, the nomination process for electing the President will commence from June 14, which will be followed by the polls that will be carried forward on July 17.
6. Following the schedule issued by the Election Commission, the last day for nominations is June 28. A candidate has the liberty to opt for withdrawal of his/her candidature from the elections till July 1.
7. Also, if at all a motion for no consensus between both the sides occurs, the number of serious candidates in the fray will be clarified to the electoral college by July 1 evening.
8. Finally the votes will be put up for counting on July 20 in the country’s capital, where all the ballot boxes will be brought.
9. Since independence, the presidential post has been held by 13 individuals so far, including the incumbent. Only V V Giri has had the opportunity of filling the post twice.
10. The tenure of the current President of India Pranab Mukherjee, will terminate on July 24.