If one believes in the simple mathematical calculation and minimum political honesty by public representatives in the Indian Parliament and State legislative assemblies, the largest democracy on Earth is expecting a lady tribal President in New Delhi next month. As Draupadi Murmu, a simple Janjati family woman turned a teacher turned a politician, gets the recommendation from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government for the Presidential elections scheduled for 18 July next, her victory becomes almost imminent.
Hailing from Mayurbhanj locality of Odisha, who taught in Shri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre, the NDA’s Presidential candidate earlier served Jharkhand as its Governor and her own State as a minister. After arriving in New Delhi, Murmu has filed her nomination papers in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh, BJP national president JP Nadda, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, etc. Her main opponent will be a seasoned politician, who had lately shifted his loyalty from the saffron party. Yashwant Sinha, a former Union minister, has been declared as the joint opposition candidate for the Presidential polls”.
Election Commission of India had recently announced the schedule of Presidential elections as the five-year tenure of President Ram Nath Kovind comes to end on 24 July 2022. The nominations (for 18 July polling) are accepted till 29 June and the poll-result will be available on 21 July. For records, any citizen of India can become the country’s President after fulfilling a few conditions. The aspirant must be at least 35 years old and he/she has the qualification to be elected as a member of Lok Sabha. On submitting the nomination, the aspirant needs 50 recognised proposers and 50 seconders.
Unlike other democratic nations, the common Indias do not elect their President directly, but the Head of the Republic is voted by the people’s representatives (meaning the Parliamentarians and Legislators) with the basis of Electoral College. It includes 543 members of Lok Sabha (the lower house of Parliament), 233 members in Rajya Sabha (the upper house) and 4,033 members of legislative assemblies across the vast country. Value of an MP’s vote in Presidential elections varies with the total number of Legislators in State (including Union Territories) legislative assemblies. An MLA’s vote-value depends on the number of electorates of the concerned State/UT.
The ruling BJP has 92 Rajya Sabha members (including four nominated MPs, who cannot vote) and 301 Lok Sabha MPs, which is more than the half of combined strength of both the houses. The saffron party also enjoys support from its alles like Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party, Apna Dal, Asom Gana Parishad, Mizo National Front, National People’s Party, etc. As the BJP retains power in 18 States, it enjoys impressive numbers (along with the political allies) among Legislators too.