Who can be President?

  • He should be a citizen of India.
  • He must have completed the age of 35 years
  • He must be qualified to become a Lok Sabha member.
  • He should not hold any office of profit under Union or state government.
  • The eligible candidate must be subscribed by at least 50 electors as proposers and 50 electors as seconders.
  • Each candidate has to make a security deposit of Rs.15,000 in the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The security deposit is liable to be forfeited in case the candidate fails to secure one-sixth of the votes polled.

How does the Election Work?

By the system of proportional representation, MP s and MLAs have votes equal to the average number of people they represent. Since MPs represent the whole country they have more votes, and MLAs have fewer votes as they represent only the people in their states.

MPs in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have 708 votes each. Compared to this, MLAs have about 100 or 200 votes, depending on the size of their states. MLAs from Uttar Pradesh have the largest value of votes at 208 and the value of votes of Sikkim is 7. The population of the States for the purposes of calculation of the value of votes for the Presidential Election is based on the 1971-census.


Who Elects the President?


The citizens of India elect the president indirectly. A president is elected by an electoral college, which is made of:
Elected members of parliament (MPs from Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha).
Elected members of State legislative members, including that of NCT of Delhi and Pondicherry


Who cannot vote?


Nominated members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha cannot participate in the election of President. Members of legislative councils in the states where there are bicameral legislatures (two Legislatures) cannot participate in the election of President.


Process of Election


The election commission conducts the presidential election. By convention, the Secretary General, Lok Sabha and the Secretary General, Rajya Sabha is appointed as the Returning Officer by rotation.

The value of votes is predetermined as discussed earlier. The MPs and MLA cast vote on the ballot paper / machine by marking their preference to the candidates. Each voter can provide an order of preferences for the post in the ballot paper.


How is it different from Regular Elections?


Indirect- The president is not directly elected by the people but by the members who represent them.

Proportional- To ensure uniformity of representation of different states and equality between the Union and the states, the constitution provides for an election based on proportional representation.


Interesting Facts

The Election Commission prints the ballot papers in two colours- in green for use of Members of Parliament and in pink for use by the Members of the State Legislative Assemblies.
The ballot papers are printed with two columns- the first column containing the names of the candidates and the second column for marking preferences by the elector for each such candidate.
The ballot papers are printed in Hindi and English for use by MPs and in English and the official language(s) of the State for use by the MLAs of the State concerned.
Once all the votes have been cast, the total valid votes are multiplied by the value of each vote and that total is credited to the candidate with the total value of votes secured by them.
The winning candidate has to secure the required quota of votes to be declared elected, i.e., 50% of valid votes polled +1.


If there is a dispute


All doubts or disputes arising out of the election of the president are decided by the Supreme Court which is the only authority to try an election petition regarding President’s election.

The president is elected for a term of 5 years. He may terminate his own term by writing a resignation addressed to Vice President. He can be removed from the office ONLY by impeachment. He is eligible to re-elect for the same office for unlimited times.