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 (

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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