Ahead Of Presidential Elections, Rahul Rallies Opposition

It looks like Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is working on bringing unity among the Opposition ahead of the Presidential elections. Having reached out to the SP in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress is now trying for tie-up with other parties across the country to fight against the mighty BJP-led NDA.
Ahead Of Presidential Elections, Rahul Rallies Opposition

Vijayawada: The success of the Congress-sponsored all-party meeting at Guntur on Special Category Status (SCS) leaves an impression that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has started the exercise to keep the non-BJP parties together. The very presence of the Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav from Uttar Pradesh, JDU chief Sharad Yadav, Laloo Prasad Yadav’s RJD leader Jaya Prakash Yadav, Tamil Nadu’s DMK leader Elangovan and CPI secretary general Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy at the Guntur meeting shows the unity efforts of Rahul Gandhi. The meeting also had the backing of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamatha Benerjee’s TMC, Maharastra’s strong man Sharad Pawar’s NCP, the CPI-M, Jammu-Kashmir’s Farooq Abdulla’s National Conference and Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena add the strength of the Opposition that Rahul Gandhi is targeting.

While the UP elections have brought the Congress and SP together, the Guntur meeting had broadened the Opposition unity with more parties joining the Congress. The DMK in Tamil Nadu is leaving no stone unturned to cash in on the death of AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa and is determined to return to power soon. It is now moving close to the Congress to prevent the BJP take advantage of the squabbles in the AIADMK. The alliance with the Congress, thus, seems to be more important for the DMK than the Congress and that made Rahul’s plans easy to have DMK in his pocket. The Left which is strong in Kerala is already with the Congress as CPI-M is supporting the Congress in its fight against the mighty BJP. Sources said that Rahul is seriously trying for an alliance with the Kumara Swamy’s JD (S) in Karnataka that would give a clear base for the Congress in the south. In Andhra Pradesh and the Telangana, the Congress is already with the Left parties to fight against the TDP and TRS in the next elections.

In north, the SP in UP, RJD in Bihar, NCP in Maharastra, National Conference in Jammu-Kashmir, besides others, is giving a comfortable base for the Congress for the next round of elections. These parties, besides the Congress and the Left, are convinced of the political compulsion that is required to beat the BJP, particularly in the light of demonetization and the proposed ban on meat.

Rahul Gandhi, besides pressing for the Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh, had also stressed the need for non-BJP and non-NDA to come together and the unity efforts are set to start from the Presidential elections due in two months from now.

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New President’s Election: Crorepathis, Those With Criminal Cases Among Voters

An overwhelming 71% of electors in the Presidential Elections are crorepathis, while 33% of them have criminal cases pending against them. Women voters are just 9%.

New Delhi: The Electoral College, which will elect the new President of India coming Monday, will be dominated by billionaires and millionaires, apart from those with criminal cases registered against them.

This “not-so-startling fact” has been underlined by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW).

While 71 percent of the electors are crorepathis, 33 percent of them have criminal cases pending against them, as per affidavits submitted by them at the time of their election.

ADR and NEW shared with media on Friday the results of their analysis of affidavits filed by 4,078 of total 4,120 MLAs from all the states of India and 774 of 776 MPs, who will be voting in the election for the highest post in India.

The voting will take place come Monday in the Parliament House at New Delhi and in all the 28 State Assemblies and legislatures of the two Union Territories. All MLAs and MPs are members of the Electoral College, which will elect the President.

One hundred and eighty four of the 543 Lok Sabha MPs have declared criminal cases against them, as did 1,353 of the total 4,078 MLAs of the State and UT Assemblies.

While 445 of the 543, which is 82 percent of Lok Sabha MPs, are crorepathis, 84 percent of Rajya Sabha MPS are super rich. Comparatively, only 68 percent of 4,078 MLAs have shown income in crores.

Based on the number of votes these crorepathi MPs and MLAs will cast, 75 percent voters of the Electoral College are super rich.

Amongst State Assemblies, Karnataka has the maximum number of crorepathi comprising 93 per cent.

In an interesting aside, total percentage of women voters is only 9. While Lok Sabha with 65 women MPs has a 12 percent share in the voting pool, Rajya Sabha has 23 MPs, amounting to 10 percent vote share. All put together, there are only 363 women MLAs in all the State and UT Assemblies, which comprises nine percent of total votes in the electoral pool represented by the States.

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Presidential Election: Canvassing is not undue influence

Though the present election for the office of President cannot be described as tough, the election of VV Giri was the keenest ever contest. The electors should not vote carelessly making their votes invalid.
Presidential Election: Canvassing is not undue influence

Madabhushi Sridhar

Legislators and Parliamentarians have to elect the President according to their individual conscience and our Constitution. They have to hear the call of conscience, understand the constitutional responsibilities of President and find out how to cast valid vote avoiding shame of invalidation of his vote. The people directly elect their representatives. The directly elected are electors to directly elect the head of the nation. Very interestingly the elected electors are free to elect any candidate. The anti-defection law will not apply and the MPs or MLAs need not fear the whip. Whips cannot be issued by the Legislature and Parliamentary party leaders.

President has to promise to protect Constitution

The President is required to make and subscribe in the presence of the Chief Justice of India (or in his absence, the senior-most Judge of the Supreme Court), an oath or affirmation that he/she shall protect, preserve and defend the Constitution as follows:

I, (name), do swear in the name of God (or solemnly affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President (or discharge the functions of the President) of the Republic of India, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law, and that I will devote myself to the service and well-being of the people of the Republic of India. (Article 60)

Indira Gandhi’s call for Conscience Vote

After nominating Neelam Sanjeev Reddy as Congress nominee for Presidential position, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asked MPs to vote by conscience. That indicated that she changed her mind and supported the other candidate V V Giri, who was ultimately elected. The Congress MPs voted non-Congress candidate as conscience (!) drove them so. Indira Gandhi has, in fact, called her MPs to defy the party discipline. There were no anti-defection disqualifications at that time as tenth Schedule was not added to the Constitution. But Mrs Gandhi’s call to defy party candidate acted like a ‘whip’ and MPs overwhelmingly voted non-Congress candidate Giri, defeating the official candidate.  However, the voting in President’s Election has to be strictly a secret process. None knows who voted whom, and there is no disqualification threat.

No challenge to Rajendra Prasad

Though party discipline demands that all MPs should go by the line of the party, cross voting is not ruled out. Depending on situations, it was engineered, example is again Giri’s election.

Almost all elections, except two, were challenged by the defeated candidates. First election of Rajendra Prasad was not challenged by Mr K T Shah, a renowned personality who contributed in making of Indian Constitution. However, Prasad’s election second time was challenged. However it was rejected [Dr N B Khare vs Election Commission – AIR 1958 SC 139]. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishna and Pratibha Patil’s elections also remained unquestioned. The election petition against the President can be heard only by five-member bench of the Supreme Court.

Zakir Hussain: Canvassing is not undue influence

Babu Rao Patel alleged undue influence exerted by the PM and cabinet ministers by openly canvassing for Zakir Hussain and thus there was no free conscience vote as mandated by Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952 was violated. Supreme Court did not agree and rejected the petition saying canvassing could not be considered as ‘undue influence’. [AIR 1968 SC 904]. As Zakir Hussain suddenly died in 1969, election to President became essential.

Scurrilous Pamphlet against Sanjeev Reddy

Indira Gandhi was in logger heads with the traditional leadership of the Congress and fielded Vice President V V Giri against the N Sanjiv Reddy, the candidate of the high command.  In this election only she gave a call for ‘conscience driven vote’ by MPs. Mr Shiv Kirpal Singh alleged that Indira Gandhi and her ministerial colleagues misused their authority in Central Government to get VV Giri elected. One of the contentions against election was that a pamphlet containing scurrilous and vulgar allegations was circulated openly in the Central Hall of Parliament. The pamphlet also said that Reddy would destroy democracy with his dictatorial methods. As the ‘connivance’ or ‘consent’ of Giri in the printing and circulation of the pamphlet was not established, the petition was defeated. Supreme Court for the first time asked President to answer the allegations. SC could not find enough evidence to say that there was misuse of official machinery, and petition was thrown out [AIR 1970 SC 2097].

Sahu challenges many a President

After this one Mr Charan Lal Sahu was contesting every election and unsuccessfully challenging the elections to the office of President. The petitions against election of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, N Sanjiva Reddy and Giani Zail Singh rejected. This petitioner himself challenged elections of KR Narayanan and APJ Abdul Kalam. The SC has angrily warned him against non-serious contest and subsequent challenge to the office of President.  The election of Shankar Dayal Sharma and R Venkataraman were also challenged by Mithilesh Kumar Sinha, without success.

Suitability issue in Zail Singh Election

The BJP, Lok Dal, Democratic Socialist Party of India and Janata Party having strength of 27 MPs together fielded Justice Hans Raj Khanna against the Congress candidate Zail Singh. Main allegation by MPs against Zail Singh was that official machinery was misused at massive scale. They also alleged that Zail Singh was not suitable to the highest office as he proclaimed loyalty to Mrs Gandhi by saying he was ready to sweep the floor with broom if she commanded so.

Former Chief Justice of India M H Beg, has posed a counter challenge to suitability of his former colleague Justice Khanna to contest the election for Presidentship. During emergency Mr Beg was with majority decision in ADM Jabalpur case, that fundamental rights can be suspended while Khanna gave historic dissent saying right to life and personal liberty cannot be suspended during emergency. Mr Beg tried to make out points of defects in Khanna’s dissent order and alleged that made him unsuitable. Mr Beg became chairman of Minorities Commission in 1982.  Deciding on the point of suitability, the Supreme Court said: “Suitability of a candidate is for the electorate to judge and not for the court to decide. Suitability is a fluid concept of uncertain import. The ballot box is, or has to be assumed to be, its sole judge.” How can anybody define or decide on suitability which is a fluid concept. The apex court dismissed the petition [1984 (1) SCC 390]

Pranab Mukherjee: Office of Profit issue

Recently the election of Pranab Mukherjee was also challenged by former speaker P A Sangma who contested the election.  He alleged that Mukherjee held an office of profit being chairman of the council of Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata. Parliament had found it to be an office of profit and included it among exempted ones to prevent disqualification of MPs. That post was indeed an office profit. Three judges held that he was not having any profit from office hence not disqualified. But two judges held otherwise. They said on December 11, 2012: “Categorising it as an office of profit did not really make it one, since it did not provide any profit and was purely honorary in nature.” Pranab Mukherjee scraped through to Rashtrapathi Bhawan.

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Presidential Election: Whether our lawmakers give valid votes?

The anti-defection law or the whip cannot stop a Member of parliament or a legislature from voting for the best candidate in presidential election according to the dictates of conscience.
Presidential Election: Whether our lawmakers give valid votes?

Madabhushi Sridhar

The million dollar question is how many MPs and MLAs know how to vote for next President.  In the last elections in 2012 there is a record 15 invalid votes among MPs and 54 among MLAs.  Most of our graduates and teachers failed to cast valid votes in MLC elections while some votes were invalid in Rajya Sabha polls also. There should be training for these law makers about our supreme law – the Constitution of India.

Who is eligible? A citizen, completing 35 years of age, eligible to become a member of Loksabha, without holding office of profit either at Center or states is eligible to contest to this top position.  Now for President 108 have filed nominations but only nominations of Ram Nath Kovind and Meira Kumar were found valid. The list of valid voters is available at (www.eci.nic.in/eci_main1/Presidential_Election/data/ElectoralCollege_en.pdf.)

Article 55:  The election is held in accordance to the system of Proportional representation by means of the Single transferable vote method. The voting takes place by secret ballot system. The manner of election of President is provided by Article 55 of the Constitution.

Electoral College: President is indirectly elected by elected MPs and MLAs, who constitute an electoral college. Nomination paper of a candidate has to be signed by at least 50 eligible voters as proposers and at least 50 eligible voters should second it. One voter cannot second more than one candidate. Generally one voter’s vote has value of only one vote. But in the Presidential election, the value of the MP vote is different from the value of a MLA vote. The value of a MLA vote from one state differs from the value of the MLA vote of another state. Before each such election, the Election Commission notifies the total value of all the votes based on vacancies etc at that point in time.

Value of votes: The value of votes of electors (voters) is basically determined on the basis of population of the States. By 84th Amendment to Constitution the population of the States for the purpose of this calculation will mean the population as per the 1971 census.

Value of MLA: The value of the vote of each MLA is calculated by dividing the population of the State as per 1971 Census, by the total number of elected members of the respective state assembly, and then to divide the quotient by 1000. Total Value of all members of each State Assembly is obtained by multiplying the number of seats in the Assembly by the number of votes for each member. If Telangana is taken as example: Number of MLAs 119, Population as per 1971 census is 1.57 crore. Value of each MLA is 1,57 crore divided by 119 multiplied by 1000 = 132. Thus the total value of votes of all Telangana MLAs is 119 x  132 = 15,708. The total value of the MLA votes is 5,49,495. The value of a MLA vote in individual states is given in the table below.

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Presidential Elections: Do The Lawmakers Know How To Vote? Here Is How!

The parliamentarians and the legislators have to reckon with the constitution and their conscience. The constitution provides opportunity for the electors to vote freely without fear of anti-defection law or the whip of the party leadership.
Presidential Elections: Do The Lawmakers Know How To Vote? Here Is How

Madabhushi Sridhar

Legislators and Parliamentarians have to elect the President according to their individual conscience and our Constitution. They have to hear the call of conscience, understand the constitutional responsibilities of President and find out how to cast valid vote avoiding shame of invalidation of his vote. The people directly elect their representatives. The directly elected are electors to directly elect the head of the nation. Very interestingly, the elected electors are free to elect any candidate. The anti-defection law will not apply and the MPs or MLAs need not fear the whip. Whips cannot be issued by the Legislature and Parliamentary party leaders.  But the million dollar question is how many MPs and MLAs know how to vote for next President.  In the last elections held in 2012 there is a record 15 invalid votes among MPs and 54 among MLAs.  Most of our graduates and teachers failed to cast valid votes in MLC elections while some votes were invalid in Rajya Sabha polls also. There should be training for these law makers about our supreme law – the Constitution of India.

President has to promise to protect Constitution

The President is required to make and subscribe in the presence of the Chief Justice of India (or in his absence, the senior-most Judge of the Supreme Court), an oath or affirmation that he/she shall protect, preserve and defend the Constitution as follows:

I, (name), do swear in the name of God (or solemnly affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President (or discharge the functions of the President) of the Republic of India, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law, and that I will devote myself to the service and well-being of the people of the Republic of India. (Article 60)

Indira Gandhi’s call for Conscience Vote

After nominating Neelam Sanjeev Reddy as Congress nominee for Presidential position, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asked MPs to vote by conscience. That indicated that she changed her mind and supported the other candidate V V Giri, who was ultimately elected. The Congress MPs voted non-Congress candidate as conscience (!) drove them so. Indira Gandhi has, in fact, called her MPs to defy the party discipline. There were no anti-defection disqualifications at that time as tenth Schedule was not added to the Constitution by then. But Indira Gandhi’s call to defy party candidate acted like a ‘whip’ and MPs overwhelmingly voted non-Congress candidate Giri, defeating the official candidate.  However, the voting in President’s Election has to be strictly a secret process. None knows who voted whom, and there is no disqualification threat.

No challenge to Rajendra Prasad

Though party discipline demands that all MPs should go by the line of the party, cross voting is not ruled out. Depending on situations, it was engineered, example is again Giri’s election.

Almost all elections, except two, were challenged by the defeated candidates. First election of Rajendra Prasad was not challenged by Mr K T Shah, a renowned personality who contributed in making of Indian Constitution. However, Prasad’s election second time was challenged. However it was rejected [Dr N B Khare vs Election Commission – AIR 1958 SC 139]. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishna and Pratibha Patil’s elections also remained unquestioned. The election petition against the President can be heard only by five-member bench of the Supreme Court.

Zakir Hussain: Canvassing is not undue influence

Babu Rao Patel alleged undue influence exerted by the PM and cabinet ministers by openly canvassing for Zakir Hussain and thus there was no free conscience vote as mandated by Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952 was violated. Supreme Court did not agree and rejected the petition saying canvassing could not be considered as ‘undue influence’. [AIR 1968 SC 904]. As Zakir Hussain suddenly died in 1969, election to President became essential.

Scurrilous Pamphlet against Sanjeev Reddy

Indira Gandhi was at logger heads with the traditional leadership of the Congress  (Old guards) and fielded Vice President V V Giri against the N Sanjiv Reddy, the candidate of the high command.  In this election only she gave a call for ‘conscience driven vote’ by MPs. Mr Shiv Kirpal Singh alleged that Indira Gandhi and her ministerial colleagues misused their authority in Central Government to get VV Giri elected. One of the contentions against election was that a pamphlet containing scurrilous and vulgar allegations was circulated openly in the Central Hall of Parliament. The pamphlet also said that Reddy would destroy democracy with his dictatorial methods. As the ‘connivance’ or ‘consent’ of Giri in the printing and circulation of the pamphlet was not established, the petition was defeated. Supreme Court for the first time asked President to answer the allegations. SC could not find enough evidence to say that there was misuse of official machinery, and petition was thrown out [AIR 1970 SC 2097].

Sahu challenges many a President

After this one Mr Charan Lal Sahu was contesting every election and unsuccessfully challenging the elections to the office of President. The petitions against election of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, N Sanjiva Reddy and Giani Zail Singh rejected. This petitioner himself challenged elections of KR Narayanan and APJ Abdul Kalam. The SC has angrily warned him against non-serious contest and subsequent challenge to the office of President.  The election of Shankar Dayal Sharma and R Venkataraman were also challenged by Mithilesh Kumar Sinha, without success.

Suitability issue in Zail Singh Election

The BJP, Lok Dal, Democratic Socialist Party of India and Janata Party having strength of 27 MPs together fielded Justice Hans Raj Khanna against the Congress candidate Zail Singh. Main allegation by MPs against Zail Singh was that official machinery was misused at massive scale. They also alleged that Zail Singh was not suitable to the highest office as he proclaimed loyalty to Indira Gandhi by saying he was ready to sweep the floor with broom if she commanded so.

Former Chief Justice of India M H Beg, has posed a counter challenge to suitability of his former colleague Justice Khanna to contest the election for Presidentship. During emergency Beg was with majority decision in ADM Jabalpur case, that fundamental rights can be suspended while Khanna gave historic dissent saying right to life and personal liberty cannot be suspended during emergency. Mr Beg tried to make out points of defects in Khanna’s dissent order and alleged that made him unsuitable. Beg became chairman of Minorities Commission in 1982.  Deciding on the point of suitability, the Supreme Court said: “Suitability of a candidate is for the electorate to judge and not for the court to decide. Suitability is a fluid concept of uncertain import. The ballot box is, or has to be assumed to be, its sole judge.” How can anybody define or decide on suitability which is a fluid concept. The apex court dismissed the petition [1984 (1) SCC 390]

Pranab Mukherjee: Office of Profit issue

Recently the election of Pranab Mukherjee was also challenged by former speaker P A Sangma who contested the election.  He alleged that Mukherjee held an office of profit being chairman of the council of Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata. Parliament had found it to be an office of profit and included it among exempted ones to prevent disqualification of MPs. That post was indeed an office profit. Three judges held that he was not having any profit from office hence not disqualified. But two judges held otherwise. They said on December 11, 2012: “Categorising it as an office of profit did not really make it one, since it did not provide any profit and was purely honorary in nature.” Pranab Mukherjee scraped through to Rashtrapathi Bhawan.

Who is eligible to contest?

A citizen, completing 35 years of age, eligible to become a member of Lok Sabha, without holding office of profit either at Center or in states is eligible to contest to this top position.

Now for President 108 have filed nominations but only nominations of Ram Nath Kovind and Meira Kumar were found valid. The list of valid voters is available at (www.eci.nic.in/eci_main1/Presidential_Election/data/ElectoralCollege_en.pdf.)

Article 55

The election is held in accordance to the system of Proportional representation by means of the Single transferable vote method. The voting takes place by secret ballot system. The manner of election of President is provided by Article 55 of the Constitution.

Electoral College

President is indirectly elected by elected MPs and MLAs, who constitute an electoral college. Nomination paper of a candidate has to be signed by at least 50 eligible voters as proposers and at least 50 eligible voters should second it. One voter cannot second more than one candidate. Generally one voter’s vote has value of only one vote. But in the Presidential election, the value of the MP vote is different from the value of a MLA vote. The value of a MLA vote from one state differs from the value of the MLA vote of another state. Before each such election, the Election Commission notifies the total value of all the votes based on vacancies etc at that point in time.

Value of votes

The value of votes of electors (voters) is basically determined on the basis of population of the States. By 84th Amendment to Constitution the population of the States for the purpose of this calculation will mean the population as per the 1971 census.

Value of MLA

The value of the vote of each MLA is calculated by dividing the population of the State as per 1971 Census, by the total number of elected members of the respective state assembly, and then to divide the quotient by 1000. Total Value of all members of each State Assembly is obtained by multiplying the number of seats in the Assembly by the number of votes for each member. If Telangana is taken as example: Number of MLAs 119, Population as per 1971 census is 1.57 crore. Value of each MLA is 1,57 crore divided by 119 multiplied by 1000 = 132. Thus the total value of votes of all Telangana MLAs is 119 x  132 = 15,708. The total value of the MLA votes is 5,49,495. The value of a MLA vote in individual states is given in the table below.

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Presidential Elections: Chiranjeevi Top In The List

In the Electoral College list for Presidential elections actor-turned-politician, Congress MP Chiranjeevi figured first in the list.

Hyderabad: Congress MP Chiranjeevi figured first in the electoral list for Presidential elections and Malladi Krishna Rao in the last out of 4896 votes. Though Malladi represents Pondicherry, he along with Chiranjeevi belongs to Telugu states.

List of votes constitutes Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha and state Assemblies. Chiranjeevi is far from politics after 2014 elections and we have to see whether or not he would vote for Meira Kumar, who presided over Andhra Pradesh reorganisation Act.

Polling for first citizen of India will take place on July 17th and counting on July 20th. Both candidates Meira kumar and Ram Nath Kovind who are contesting are from Dalit community. But Kovind’s victory is only ax formality and will be second Dalit president of India after KR Narayanan. ⁠⁠⁠⁠

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Presidential Elections: Typical Style In South Indian Politics

South Indian Politics witnessed surprise support from political parties bringing enemies together during Presidential elections.

Hyderabad: Presidential Elections which will be held on July 17 created a special conditions in South Indian politics.

In Andhra Pradesh, TDP which is an ally of BJP extended support to Ram Nath Kovind, but the main opposition party YSRCP too declared its support to Ram Nath Kovind even before the TDP announced its backing. YSRCP chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said in a social media message that Ram Nath is a “Fine Statesman”.

Be it opportunism by the opposition party or ruling party, Presidential election brought staunch rivals on one platform in their decision to support NDA’s nominee.

TDP MLA Muddu Krishnama Naidu felt that Presidential election is about electing non-party personality. There is nothing wrong in YSRCP supporting Kovind, he said, While TDP welcomed YSRCP’s move, Communist parties quickly moved towards Congress by saying YSRCP’s move is opportunism.

Every party has its own interests and is least bothered about secularism or federalism, Thelkapalli Ravi, political analyst felt.

In Tamil Nadu, AIDMK which was split into three factions by their leaders stood as one in supporting NDA’s nominee for Presidential elections.

Dinakaran cleverly mentioned Sasikala’s name by saying as per her direction his faction is extending support to Ram Nath.

Cases on Dinakaran and Sasikala are running and they don’t want to take further risk and fight with the ruling party which is all powerful.

Yes, it is the BJP which is finally calling the shots with its calculations keeping in view the 2019 elections.

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Presidential Elections: Ram Nath Kovind To File Nomination Papers On Friday

NDA’s nominee Ram Nath will file 4 sets of nomination papers today. He will be facing UPA candidate Meira Kumar in the President’s race.

New Delhi: Ram nath Kovind will file nomination papers today for the post of 15th President of India while PM Modi accompanies him.

BJP has prepared 4 sets of nominations for this procedure. First set will be signed by PM Modi, second one by Andhra CM Naidu, third set by BJP National President Amit Shah and fourth one will be by Shiroman Akali Dal leader Prakash Singh Badal.

Telangana CM KCR, two groups of AIADMK belonging to Panneerselvan, palaniswami, Shiva Sena, JD ( U) , BJD, YSRCP have extended support to Kovind.

Meanwhile, Congress nominated Meira Kumar on Thursday as the combined opposition candidate. She was supported by Communist parties, TMC,SP, and BSP.

BSP withdrew its support to Meira kumar after congress announced former Lok Sabha Speaker as its candidate.

It is just a cake walk for Kovind to enter Rastrapathi Bhavan. He enjoys the backing of 62% votes and may increase further with undecided parties like AAP and a few others throwing their weight behind him. President Pranab Mukherjee will demit office on 24 July and Kovind will be the second Dalit to occupy the highest post of the land after K.R.Narayan.

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Presidential Elections: Has Modi’s Plan Worked?

By announcing a Dalit candidate for President, Modi was successful in splitting opposition parties.

New Delhi: BJP’s last minute pick of Ram Nath Kovind as Presidential candidate was a surprise to media and to all parties. Modi was successful by bringing saffron mark ‘Kovind ‘into Rastrapathi Bhavan by using the trump card of Dalit keeping an eye on 2019 elections.

Kovind , presently Governor of Bihar , has all kinds of qualifications to be Presidential candidate but his name by Modi for the first citizen of India surprised one and all. Kovind himself did not expect until last minute.

Congress was still in dilemma to say yes or no for NDA’s pick. Ghulam Nabi Azad said that Sonia Gandhi will be presiding over a meeting of all the major allies to discuss this issue. But BJP leaders said PM Modi has a word with Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh before announcing Ram Nath as their candidate.

Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy, CPI General Secretary said that they will oppose any candidate with RSS background. He also clarified that they will put up a candidate against Ram Nath.

TMC‘s excuses is not up to the mark. As per CM Mamatha if the candidate is a well known person like Sushma or Advani it is the better choice. Though she is not saying Kovid is unfit for President, her decision will be finalised after opposition parties meet on June 22nd. At the last meeting N she said that there are many Dalit leaders in the country who can be selected, thus leaving her intentions to calculate by us.

TDP, TRS, YSRCP, AIDMK, BJD, all parties extended their support for Ram Nath.

But at last it was Modi who was successful in breaking UPA allies for this election. Modi whose agenda for 2019 elections will be Ayodhya, along with anti-corruption government will the use of Dalit card too in Northern region for his political benefit, felt political experts.

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Draupadi Murmu, BJP’s Pick For Next President?

Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murumu is on top priority list prepared by BJP for Next President of India.

New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi has already kept option of the name Draupadi Murmu as President even though the BJP panel is seriously considering names including that of Najma Hepthullah.

According to highly placed source of BJP from New Delhi, choosing Murmu as President has lots of advantages for BJP. Main reason is Tribal trump card which will push opposition into trouble making it difficult to vote against her and if she wins, she will be the first Adivasi President of India.

Draupadi Murmu, who hails from Odisha state, is the tribal face of the BJP in Mayurbhanj District of Odisha. She took charge as Governor of Jharkhand two years ago and became the first woman from Odisha to become Governor.

Prior to that, she held many portfolios in Naveen Patnaik led Biju Janatha Dal Government. She was chosen as best MLA and was felicitated with Nilkantha award.

BJP will fetch if it files Murmu as candidate hoping to counter opposition allegations of the NDA Government of being anti-tribal. At present scenario, Murmu’s name is almost finalised for Presidential candidate, but we can’t say as BJP is known to spring a surprise.

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Presidential Election On July 17

The schedule for the presidential poll has been announced by the Election Commission and the polling will take place on July 17 to elect a new President in place of Pranab Mukherjee.

New Delhi: The election for the 14th President of India will be held on July 17, if necessary, as the term of present President Pranab Mukherjee will expire on July 24. The counting will take place on July 20, announced the Election Commission on Wednesday.

Announcing the schedule for the Presidential election at a press conference the Chief Election Commissioner Naseem Zaidi said that the nominations can be filed from June 18 and the last day for nominations is June 28.

The election for President and Vice President will be held according to Article 324, he said.

The Electoral College to pick a President comprises of all elected MPs and MLAs. Each vote also has a weightage or value depending on the size of the population he or she represents.

MPs have the highest value — 708 — for each vote, while the value of an MLA’s vote depends on the population of the state.

The schedule released by the Election Commission:

Date for issuing notification — June 14

Last date for filing nomination — June 28

Date for Scrutiny of nomination — June 29

Last date for withdrawal of nomination — July 1

Election, if necessary — July 17

Counting of votes, if necessary — July 20

Meanwhile, the Opposition parties led by Congress formed a panel to pick their presidential candidate, though it wants the government to propose a suitable name. But the NDA is silent over the name till now. As the Election Commission released the schedule of the poll, BJP might announce the name.

As BJP is wielding power at the Centre and in many States, the prospects of pushing own candidates are bright.

However, the analysts feel that there might be a tough contest in the polls as some of the parties might backtrack and not vote for the ruling party proposed candidate.

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TRS To Support BJP In Presidential Poll

While Congress president Sonia Gandhi swung in action to mobilise the opposition parties to put up a joint candidate in the forthcoming Presidential elections, the TRS spoke of supporting NDA candidate.

Hyderabad:  The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), which is considered a neutral party by political analysts as it maintains equidistance from UPA and NDA, finally decided whom to support in the Presidential elections.

As the Presidential elections are fast approaching, TRS claimed that it will support the candidate put up by ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) if it works in favour of their State.

Since the tenure of present President Pranab Mukherjee will end this July, all political parties swung into action to place their choice in the seat.

As the Opposition parties are putting efforts to put up a joint candidate for the presidential elections, TRS too quickly decided and made an offer to the Central government. But it also warned that it will not hesitate to turn against the government if it did not work for Telangana’s welfare.

Expressing his views, TRS MP Jitender Reddy said that “if it does good for the Centre and also for our State, we will definitely support the government.”

As all the opposition parties were rejected by people in the Assembly elections held recently, it took time for the parties to chalk out a strategy to fight against BJP. BSP chief Mayawati announced her support to Mahaghatbandhan consisting of all anti-BJP parties if it is formed. Akhilesh too supported it. Now, reports say that Congress president Sonia Gandhi will be meeting BSP supremo Mayawati, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and DMK working president MK Stalin.

Though there were some noises about the formation of Mahagahatbandhan to stop the BJP juggernaut, nothing solid has happened till now. Congress president who was away from the political scene much before the Assembly elections decided to bring all like-minded parties together. She started meeting various heads of parties. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi spoke to Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, while Sonia spoke to Mulayam Singh and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Yadav.

Discussions were held between NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi about putting up a joint opposition candidate.

Congress president who swung into action already held meetings with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and CPI leader D Raja regarding the issue.

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