New Delhi, June 14: The process for the election of the next President was formally set in motion on Wednesday with the Election Commission issuing a notification, opening the filing of nominations for the July 17 contest.
As a follow up, Lok Sabha Secretary General Anoop Mishra, the Returning Officer for the election, issued a public notice, declaring that the nomination papers may be delivered by a candidate or any of their proposers or seconders not later than June 28.
Each nomination paper should be accompanied by a certified copy of the entry relating to the candidate in the electoral roll for the Parliamentary constituency in which the candidate is registered as an elector, Mishra said in the notice.
Candidates have been told to deposit a sum of Rs 15,000 with their nomination papers.
This amount may be deposited in cash with the Returning Officer at the time of presentation of the nomination paper or deposited earlier in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) or in a government treasury and in the latter case a receipt showing that the deposit has been made, Mishra said.
He added the nomination papers, other than those rejected, will be taken up for scrutiny on June 29.
The notice of withdrawal of candidature may be delivered by a candidate or any one of his proposers or seconders, who have been authorized on his behalf in writing by the candidate by July 1.
Voting will take place on July 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the places of polling fixed under the rules.
The vote count will be on July 20, four days before incumbent Pranab Mukherjee’s term ends. The new President is set to take charge the next day.
The electoral college for choosing the President consists of 4,896 voters. While the Lok Sabha has 543 voters and the Rajya Sabha 233, the overwhelming majority (4,120) come from state assemblies – MLAs.
The total value of votes in the election is 10,98,903 — 5,49,408 for MPs and 5,49,495 for MLAs.
The value of each vote of an MP is 708 but this differs for MLAs from state to state. The value of an MLA’s vote in Uttar Pradesh is the highest (208) and the least (7) in Sikkim.
The NDA is short of the half-way mark by about 18,000 votes. But it expects to gain the support of many smaller parties besides all the factions of the feuding AIADMK which alone has a vote value of over 26,000.
In 2012, Mukherjee, the nominee of the Congress-led UPA, got 7,13,763 votes while his sole rival P.A. Sangma, fielded by the BJP-led NDA, secured 3,15,987 — of the total vote value of 10,29,750. Mukherjee assumed office on July 25, 2012.
The election will see a secret ballot and political parties can’t issue a whip to MPs or MLAs.