The Election Commission has announced the dates for the Presidential elections slated to be held this year with President Pranab Mukherjee’s term coming to an end on July 24. This year the polling will be on July 17 and counting on July 20, announced the Election Commission (EC). Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said the Election Commission will issue a notification in this regard on June 14, 2017.
“The Election Commission is mandated to ensure that the election to the office of the President of India, which is the highest elective office in the nation, must be a free and fair election and the Commission is taking all necessary steps for discharging its Constitutional responsibility,” chief election commissioner (CEC) Nasim Zaidi told reporters on Wednesday.
As per norms the President will be elected by an electoral college which includes elected members of both houses of Parliament as well as elected members of state legislative assemblies including Delhi and Puducherry. Nominated members are not part of the electoral college. Here are a few decisions that have been taken by the EC:
- No elections will be held for the 13 vacant seats (10 state Assembly seats, 2 Lok Sabha seats and 1 Rajya Sabha seat) across legislative assemblies till the polling process ends.
- The 21 members of the legislative assembly in Delhi, who belong to the Aam Aadmi Party and are under EC scrutiny in an office-of-profit case, will also be allowed to vote unless a decision on their case is taken before the polling date.
- After the controversy of some votes being invalidated by the use of an “unauthorized” pen in the Rajya Sabha polls in Haryana last year, the EC will be supplying specific pens for marking of preferences during the Presidential polls. These pens will be issued at the polling stations by the designated officials along with the ballot paper. Use of any other pen will constitute an invalid vote.
Presidential Election 2017 Dates
- The last date for nominations is June 28, 201.
- The date for scrutiny for nomination has been set as June 30, 2017.
- The last date for withdrawal of nomination is July 1, 2017.
- The voting will begin at 10 am on July 17, 2017 and will go on till 5 pm.
- The counting of votes will begin at 11 am on July 20, 2017.
- Election will also be held on the same date for the post of Vice-President.
Prominent Names For the Post of President of India
While the opposition is yet to arrive at a consensus on nominating a common candidate, there are discussions being held as to who will succeed President Pranab Mukherjee. While Sharad Pawar could have been one of the major participants in the race for the post, he ruled himself out saying, “I am not keen (to be in the race for Rashtrapati Bhavan). I already told them (opposition parties) in very clear terms – for me, it is a closed chapter.”
The other prominent names for the Opposition include former West Bengal governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi and JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, besides former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar of the Congress.
In all probabilities, the Opposition parties are considering to put up a joint candidate for the elections. Leaders of 17 Opposition parties met together at Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s residence on 26 May to discuss the probable presidential candidates although they are yet to build consensus.
The NDA Government has been very secretive about the candidate that they will be backing in the presidential race but is confident that it has the numbers to get its candidate elected.
The Expected Tally
Here are a few interesting facts for you about the Presidential elections:
- The electoral College which elects the president constitutes 4,896 legislators.
- Of the 4,896 legislators, 776 are Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members and 4,120 MLAs.
- All MPs have an equal vote value of 708.
- The vote value of MLAs depends on the population of the state.
- The presidential polls has a total of 11,04,546 votes.
The BJP-led NDA’s tally stands at 5.38 lakh votes of the total 11,04,546 votes of the presidential polls. The crucial support of Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSRCP helped the NDA to cross the majority mark. The BJP is also hopeful of getting support in the oncoming elections from both the factions of the AIADMK, which is in power in Tamil Nadu and N. Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party.