Presidential Elections 2022: How Is India’s President Elected?

The President is elected by an electoral college, which includes members of state assemblies and the Parliament.

2 min read

As President Ram Nath Kovind's five-year term is coming to an end on 24 July, India next president will be elected on 18 July.

While the Opposition parties have decided to field former Union Minister and ex-BJP leader Yashwant Sinha as their joint candidate, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance has fielded a female tribal, Droupadi Murmu.

So, how is the President of India elected? Do people directly vote for the President?

Here’s all you need to know:


Who Elects the President?

The President is elected by an electoral college, which comprises of elected members of:

  1. All state legislative assemblies (including Puducherry and Delhi)

  2. Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha

The 12 nominated members of Rajya Sabha are not allowed to vote.

In essence, 4,120 members of legislative assemblies and 776 members of parliament elect the President.


What Is the Value of an MLA's Vote?

The value of an MLA’s vote varies from state to state, in order to reflect the population of each state.

To arrive at this value, the total population of the state (1971 census) is divided by the total number of MLAs in the state, multiplied by 1,000.

By this calculation, the value of one MLA’s vote in Delhi is 58, 218 in Uttar Pradesh and just seven in Sikkim.

Similarly the total value of all MLA votes in Delhi is 4,060, Uttar Pradesh is 83,824 and Sikkim is 224.

This bring the total value of all MLA votes to 5,49,495.


What Is the Value of an MP's Vote?

The value of the vote of a member of parliament is the same across Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, it is 708.

This is calculated by dividing the total value of MLA votes by the number of elected MPs in both houses. Therefore, 5,49,495 divided by 776, which gives you 708.

A total value of votes of all elected MLAs and MPs gives us the final number of votes in the electoral college, which is 10,98,903.


How Is the Voting Done?

Suppose, there are four presidential candidates in the official ballot. Now, each MLA and MP ranks presidential candidates in order of preference. In order to win, a candidate must get more than 50 percent of the votes.

If no candidate reaches that mark based on first preference across ballots, the preferential system comes into action.

The candidate with the lowest number of votes drops out. Then, the votes given to this candidate are redistributed based on next preference. This goes on till one candidate gets the needed majority.

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