Presidential poll on July 17

Presidential poll on July 17

The Election Commission on Wednesday announced that the polls for the nation’s 14th President will be held on July 17, a week before incumbent Pranab Mukherjee’s term ends.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Nasim Zaidi and Election Commissioners A K Joti and O P Rawat announced the schedule, thus setting the stage for another electoral battle between the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and the Opposition parties.

The notification will be issued on June 14 and candidates will be able to file nominations till June 28. The last date for withdrawal is July 1. The votes to be cast through secret ballots would be counted on July 20, Zaidi announced at a press conference in New Delhi.

The electoral college consists of only elected members of the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and the Legislative Assemblies of all the states, the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Puducherry.

The election will be held in accordance with the System of Proportional Representation by means of a single transferable vote.

There are 4,896 electors – 776 MPs and 4,120 MLAs. At present, there are 13 vacancies across the nation, Zaidi said.

The MPs and MLAs will have to cast their votes on ballot papers using the pens provided by the EC. Any ballot with votes marked by any other pen would be deemed invalid.

The political parties cannot issue a whip to their MPs or MLAs, Zaidi added. The BJP has a majority in the Lok Sabha and is the single-largest party in the Rajya Sabha. The BJP is in power in more states than any other party. The recent victories in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur Assembly polls has bolstered its numerical strength in the electoral college.

The BJP is also likely to seek support from regional parties like the TRS and the AIADMK.

The BJP is yet to declare its candidate for the presidential polls, but party president Amit Shah hinted that he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi might consult the Opposition before fielding a candidate.

The Congress, JD(U), TMC, CPM, NCP and other Opposition parties are trying to close ranks and find a common candidate.

They, however, decided to wait till the ruling party consults them or declares its own candidate.
DH News Service

15th election
*Voting through secret ballot
*Poll in accordance with System of Proportional Representation by means of single transferable vote
*Vote has to be cast using pens provided  by EC only
*Counting on July 20

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