Indian Presidential Election: How President is Elected in India

Indian Presidential Election: How President is Elected in India
20 Mar

Indian Presidential Election: How President is Elected in India

The Indian President enjoys a five - year term in office unless Parliament has removed it earlier. The presidential election takes place each year. This article describes the details of the presidential elections in India, the eligibility, the actual election process, how votes are calculated, the number of states in the vote, and if any, the disputes over the presidential elections.

Eligibility of the President's Office:
Article 59 of the Indian Constitution states that any Indian who fulfills the following requirements may become President of India:

1. must be a citizen of India;

2. must have completed the age of 35 years;

3. must be qualified for election as a member of the Lok Sabha;

4. must not hold any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State or under any local authority subject to the control of any of these GovernmentsIn short, a person who is eligible to become a lower house member and who is over 35 years of age is eligible for the presidency.
Procedure for the Election of the President
Article 54 of the Constitution provides that:

The President is elected by the members of an electoral college made up of –

a. The elected members of both Houses of Parliament and
b. The elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the States (including National Capital Territory of Delhi and the Union Territory of Pondicherry vide the Constitution 70th amendment Act, 1992)
Note:  The electoral college does not include
1. Nominated Members of Parliament's Houses

2. Nominated State Assembly Members

3. Elected and appointed members of the Legislative Councils of State

4. Nominated members of the Delhi and Puducherry Legislative Assemblies

Voting on a proportional basis:
Article 55(3) of the Indian Constitution requires that the President be elected by means of a single transferable vote in accordance with the proportional representation system.

It prevents the exclusion of minorities from the state's benefits and provides an effective share of political life for each minority group.

In voting systems, proportional representation is a concept used. In voting systems, proportional representation is a concept used. Using this scheme, MLCs and Upper House MPs are elected in India. Proportional representation means that a person/party's number of seats won is proportional to the number of votes received. For example, if 50 percent of voters voted for a party under a PR voting system, that party will win about 50 percent of seats.


Value of the vote of an MLA = (Total population of the state)/(Total number of elected members in the assembly*1000)

Value of the vote of an MP= (Total values of votes of MLAs)/(Total no.of MPs)

The Electoral College adds all the votes, which amounts to 4,896 voters. There are 776 MPs and 4,120 MLAs from across the country in this electoral college.


The total number of MP votes is 549408 and the total number of MLA votes is 549474. While the value of MLA voting may differ as shown above between states and UTs, the value of an MP vote is 708. Electoral college's total voting value is 1098882 votes.

The minimum number required to elect the president is 549442.

Note: 1971 census is used to calculate the vote value for each MP/MLA.
The process of Election:
Each elector's voting value is predetermined in accordance with the above formulae. The MPs and MLA vote on the ballot paper by marking the candidates with their preference (1,2,3 etc.).

Total valid votes will be counted and then these valid votes will be multiplied by the value of each vote and the total will be credited to the candidate as the total value of secured votes. After that, the value of each candidate's valid votes is totaled.

The returning officer sums up the value of all valid votes polled after calculating the total value of votes polled by each candidate.

By dividing the total value of valid votes by 2 and adding one to the quotient, the quota for declaring a candidate as elected is determined.

For example, assuming the total value of valid votes polled by all candidates is 5,00,000. The quota required for getting elected is:  5,00,000/2 +1 = 2,50,001
If the above quota of votes has been secured by any candidate, he will be declared elected.
  • The other continuing candidates receive the votes of an excluded candidate.

  • If none of them secures the required quota, the second round of counting will be done during which the candidate with the lowest value of first preference votes will be excluded and his votes will be distributed according to the second preference among the remaining candidates.

  • The remaining candidates receive the excluded candidate's votes.
In subsequent counting rounds, the returning officer will continue to exclude candidates with the lowest number of votes until either one of the continuing candidates receives the required quota or until only one candidate remains in the field as the continuing candidate and declares him to be elected.

Disputes over the election of the President's office:
The Supreme Court shall investigate and decide all doubts and disputes arising in connection with the election of a President by means of an election petition that may be lodged before the Supreme Court.
However, on the ground that the electoral college was incomplete, the election cannot be challenged.