Choosing the country's head - an intricate procedure
May 13, 2007 - 9:56:49 AM
New Delhi, May 13 - The election of India's 12th president due in July has generated lively debates in the country. But there are not many who know the hugely complex procedure it involves.
The Indian president is elected by the members of an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both the houses of parliament and of the legislative assemblies of the states and the union territories of Delhi and Puducherry. The importance of each state in the electoral college depends on the number of votes it carries. Uttar Pradesh's 403 members of the assembly and 80 MPs therefore make it crucial for the presidential elections.
With the emergence of the Bahujan Samaj Party as the single largest party in that state ensuring the formation of a government, the picture for the election of the president has been made clearer. A hung assembly or president's rule in the state, as predicted by pollsters and political analysts, would have made the situation different as there is legal ambiguity on whether members of an assembly that is in suspended animation could participate in the voting.
According to Article 55 of the Constitution, the number of votes each state is entitled to cast is determined as -
- Every elected member of the legislative assembly of a state shall have as many votes as there are multiples of one thousand in the quotient obtained by dividing the population of the state by the total number of elected members of the assembly;
- If after taking the said multiples of one thousand, the remainder is not less than five hundred, then the vote of each member shall be further increased by one;
- Each elected member of either house of parliament has as many votes as is calculated by dividing the total number of votes assigned to the members of the state legislative assemblies by the total number of elected members of both the house of parliament from the state. Fractions exceeding one-half are counted as one and other fractions will be disregarded;
The voting is by secret ballot.
Among the 28 states, Uttar Pradesh has the largest number of votes and Sikkim the smallest.
The value of votes in each state and union territory is as given below in the order.
State - number of legislators - value of each vote - total value
Andhra Pradesh - 294 x 148 = 4,351
Arunachal Pradesh - 60 x 8 = 480
Assam - 126 x 116 = 14,616
Bihar - 243 x 173 = 42,039
Chhattisgarh - 90 x 129 = 11,610
Goa - 40 x 20 = 800
Gujarat - 182 x 147 = 26,754
Haryana - 90 x 112 = 10,080
Himachal Pradesh - 68 x 51 = 3,468
Jammu and Kashmir - 87 x 72 = 6,264
Jharkhand - 81 x 176 = 14,256
Karnataka - 224 x 131 = 29,344
Kerala - 140 x 152 = 21,280
Madhya Pradesh - 230 x 131 = 30,130
Maharashtra - 288 x 175 = 50,400
Manipur - 60 x 18 = 1,080
Meghalaya - 60 x 17 = 1,020
Mizoram - 40 x 8 = 320
Nagaland - 60 x 9 = 540
Orissa - 147 x 149 = 21,903
Punjab - 117 x 116 = 13,572
Rajasthan - 200 x 129 = 25,800
Sikkim - 32 x 7 = 224
Tamil Nadu - 234 x 176 = 41,184
Tripura - 60 x 26 = 1,560
Uttar Pradesh - 403 x 208 = 83,824
Uttarakhand - 64 x 70 = 4,480
West Bengal - 294 x 151 = 44,394
Delhi - 70 x 58 = 4,060
Puducherry - 30 x 16 = 480
Number of legislators in the country - 4,120
Value of legislators' votes - 5,49,474
The number of MPs - 776 -
The value of an MP's vote was fixed at 708. An MP's vote is calculated by dividing the total value of all legislators' votes by the number of MPs.
The values of MPs' votes - 776 x 708 = 549,408
Total votes in the electoral college - 5,49,474 + 5,49,408 = 1.098 million.
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