Procedure of Presidential and Vice-Presidential Election in India: Explained

Political parties are placing their Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates for the coming Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections which are scheduled to take place on 17th of July and 5th of August respectively. Amid these developments, let us have a look at the procedure of Presidential and Vice-Presidential Election in India.

Image: Parliament of India

Presidential Election:

The President is elected not directly by the people of India but by the members of electoral college consisting of:

  1. the elected members (not the nominated one) of both the Houses of Parliament;
  2. the elected members (not the nominated one) of the legislative assemblies of the states; and
  3. the elected members (not the nominated one) of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry.

Note: Legislators (the elected one) of UT of Delhi and Puducherry were added in the above electoral college by the 70th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 w.e.f. June 1, 1995.

The above mentioned electoral college doesn’t contain the nominated members of both the Houses of Parliament, that of the state legislative assemblies as well as the legislative assemblies of UT of Delhi and Puducherry. It also doesn’t contain both the elected as well as the nominated members of the State Legislative Councils (in case where the States have bicameral legislatures).

Image: Electoral College of the President
Electoral College of the President

Note: In case of dissolution of an assembly, the members cease to be qualified to vote in Presidential election, even if fresh elections to the dissolved assembly are not held before the presidential election. 

In context of the Presidential election, the Constitution of India provides that:

  • there shall be uniformity in the scale of representation of different states, i.e. every state MLA’s vote will depend upon the population of that state so as to maintain uniformity of scale of representation b/w states of two different sizes.

Image: Value of an MLAs vote

  • Parity b/w the states as a whole and Union, i.e. sum total of vote of all the MLAs shall be equal to sum total of vote of all the MPs.

Therefore, an MPs vote is given by:

Image: Value of an MPs vote

The President’s election is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation, unlike first past the post, by means of the single transferrable vote and voting is done by secret ballot.

Now in your mind a question may arise that what is the difference b/w system of proportional representation (used in the Presidential election) and the system of first past the post (used in the Lok Sabha election)?

Let’s understand the difference b/w both the systems of elections, viz. first past the post and proportional representation. You must have noticed that in the Lok Sabha election one who gets the majority no. of votes in a constituency wins that seat. The runner up in the same constituency, irrespective of the no of votes he/she gets, doesn’t get any representation. This is first past the post system. Unlike this, in the system of proportional representation, every contestant gets the share of representation according to the votes polled in their favour.

I hope it’s clear. If there is any doubt, please comment below and let me know that. I’ll revert back with the solution as soon as possible.

A candidate, in order to be declared elected to the office of President, must secure a fixed quota of votes.

Image: Votes need by a candidate to win the Presidentship

Note: All doubts and disputes in connection with election of the President are inquired into and decided by the SC whose decision is final. However, it cannot be challenged on the ground that the electoral college was incomplete.

If the election of person as President is declared void by the Supreme Court, acts done by him before the date of such declaration of the SC are not invalidated and continue to remain in force.

Vice-Presidential Election:

Like the President, the Vice-President is also not elected directly by the people of the country but by the electoral college consisting of:

  1. The members (both elected and nominated) of both the Houses of Parliament.

How does the Vice-President’s electoral college differ from the President’s electoral college?

It differs in the following way:

  • VP’s electoral college consists of both elected and nominated members of the Parliament, unlike the P’s electoral college where only the elected members of the Parliament were part of the electoral college.
  • VP’s electoral college doesn’t include the members of the state legislative assemblies, unlike the P’s electoral college where the elected members of the state legislative assemblies were part of the electoral college
  • VP’s electoral college also doesn’t include the member of the legislative assemblies of UTs of Delhi and Puducherry, unlike the P’s electoral college where the elected members of the legislative assemblies of UTs of Delhi and Puducherry were part of electoral college.

Image: Difference b/w P and VP electoral college

Manner of election is same as that of the President. The Vice-President’s election, like that of the President’s election is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferrable vote and the voting is done by secret ballot.

 

Reference:

Indian Polity by Laxmikanth

 

 

 

 

 

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