EC issues notification for Presidential poll

Race for top post: Candidates can file nomination papers up to June 28

EC issues notification for Presidential poll

The Election Commission on Wednesday issued a notification for the Presidential election, setting in motion the process to elect President Pranab Mukherjee’s successor.

Lok Sabha Secretary General Anoop Mishra, who is the returning officer for the Presidential election, issued the notice,  announcing that the nomination papers for the July 17 poll can be filed up to June 28.

Union Ministers Rajnath Singh and M Venkaiah Naidu, part of a three-member ministerial team to consult political parties on the Presidential nominee, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi within hours of the commission issuing the notification. The team is scheduled to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi and CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Friday to hold discussions on the nominee.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu, Union Minister Thawarchand Gehlot and Akali Dal veteran Parkash Singh Badal are seen as prospective candidates. The Opposition is mulling over fielding either former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar or former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi as its joint candidate.

‘Secular supervision’
More than a dozen Opposition parties — including arch rivals the Trinamool Congress and the Left; and the SP and the BSP — have joined hands to put up a determined fight to ensure a “secular supervision” of the Constitution from the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The electoral college for the Presidential election comprises elected members of both Houses of Parliament (776) and elected members of the legislative parties of state Assemblies and Union Territories (4,120).
A total of 4,896 electors have a vote value of 10.98 lakh, and the winning candidate has to secure a simple majority.

Even after the landslide victories in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand earlier this year, the BJP-led NDA was about 18,000 votes short of a majority. The YSR Congress and the TRS have already conveyed their support to the NDA. The ruling alliance is also banking on the AIADMK and the BJD to support its candidate.

On the other hand, the Opposition is 1.5 lakh votes short of the required number to instal its candidate in the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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