After the recent Indian Presidential Elections, Draupadi Murmu will be India’s new President. Droupadi Murmu (India’s First Tribal President) was sworn in as India’s president on Monday, making her the first person from one of the country’s marginalized tribal communities to serve as head of state. Murmu is the country’s second woman president after Pratibha Patil, who held the position for five years from 2007. She succeeds Ram Nath Kovind, the second president from the Dalit community, the bottom of the Hindu caste system.
Did you know that in these elections the common people do not vote Instead, politicians are chosen by us and vote in these elections. Perhaps the most special aspect of these Presidential elections is the One Person, One Vote funda doesn’t work here. When we vote in the State Elections or the Central Elections, the value of each of our votes is the same. But in these Presidential elections, the votes of some politicians are worth more than that of others.
Come, let’s understand how did the entire process work? “India is all set to declare its 15th President.”In UP and Odisha, cross-voting in support of Draupadi Murmu took place”. “Dr. Manmohan Singh is being brought in to cast his vote.” “The Presidential post counting is currently underway. But that hasn’t stopped the celebrations from continuing.” “It’ll be a proud day for the Adivasis (natives). Sweets will be distributed.”
“This is a very historic, significant moment, Draupadi Murmu has become the 15th President of India.” According to Article 58 of the Indian Constitution, there are 3 conditions of eligibility for who can run for this election. The first condition is that they must be an Indian citizen. Second, they must be at least 35 years old. And third, they must be qualified to be a member of the Lok Sabha.
Additionally, there’s a restriction that any person holding an office of profit, in the Central Government, or State Government, or under any authority of any government, cannot run for these elections. But this restriction on holding an office of profit does not apply to the President, Vice-President, Governor of a State, or a minister at the Union Government or minister of the State Government. When the Indian Constitution was being drafted, a member of the Constituent Assembly, Professor K.T. Shah, believed that the system shall be such that if any minister wanted to run for the President’s post, they would have to resign from their post first.
But Dr. B.R. Ambedkar rejected the suggestion because he believed that under such a system if several ministers wanted to be the President, then all of them would have to resign leading to administrative chaos. That’s why the system was designed in this peculiar manner. The next question is who can vote in the Presidential Elections? The short answer is Electoral College. The elected members of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Plus, the elected members from the various State Assemblies. Plus, the elected members from the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry. Remember, they are the ‘Elected Members.
Therefore, the nominated members of the Rajya Sabha, cannot vote. Now, let’s get to the most interesting part. The system of One Person, One Vote doesn’t work in this election because the makers of our Constitution wanted to maintain an equal balance between all the State governments and the Union government. Additionally, they also wanted a balance between the States as well. It shouldn’t be such that the State with the most elected MPs and MLAs has concentrated powers and more influence than some other states.
So how is the value of one vote calculated? There’s a formula for that. The total population of the state is divided by the total number of elected members of the State Assembly. The number is then divided by 1,000. The result shall then be rounded off to the nearest whole number. An important point here is that to see the population of a state, the population of that state during the 1971 census is considered. The reason for this is that Article 81 of the Indian Constitution lays that the composition of the Lok Sabha, should be according to the 1971 census. Until the first census after 2,000 was published.
But as we already know, After the first census, there have been 2 more. After the year 2,000. But then in 2002, this date was postponed to 2026. So the prescribed readjustment would happen only after that. Most probably the next census after that would form the new basis. So the population census of 2031, would be the basis on which the entire system would be adjusted. For now, we’ll consider the 1971 population.
Let’s understand this with an example. The population of Haryana in 1971, was 1, 0036,808 people. The total number of Legislative seats in Haryana is 90. When you divide this number by 90, you are left with 1,11,520. Further dividing it by 1,000 You’ll get the number 111.52. To round it off to the next whole number it will be 112. It is the value of the vote of Haryana’s MLAs. If any MLA from Haryana votes in the Presidential elections. the value of the one vote would be 112.
The same calculation applies to every state and according to this system, the MLAs of Uttar Pradesh have the highest value of their votes, Each of their votes has a value of 208. And the lowest value is given to the MLAs from Sikkim, The value of one vote is merely 7. So what is the total value of all the votes? Let’s understand this with Haryana’s example once again. The total value of votes in Haryana would be the value of 1 vote, multiplied by the total number of votes. So 112 multiplied by 90, we get 10,080.
The same value can be calculated for each state. as well as for Delhi and Puducherry. But Jammu & Kashmir is excluded from it, but after the repeal of Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir ceased to be a state, and have now become 2 union territories. Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir. And because there are no legislative assemblies in these union territories. They are under the President’s rule, and the politicians from here cannot vote in Presidential elections.
Earlier, the total value of votes with Jammu and Kashmir was 6,264. So we’ll subtract this, And the remaining states and union territories, who are counted for the Presidential elections, their final value would be at 5,43,231. But this was only related to the MLAs/ The MLAs chosen by us the State Governments. But as I told you, the architect of our Constitution wanted to provide equal representation between all states and the Union government.
So for the MPs of the Loke Sabha, and Rajya Sabha, the value of their votes needs to be equal to the value of the votes of all the MPs and the MLAs. This is what happens. There is a total of 543 elected MPs in the Lok Sabha. and a total of 245 members in the Rajya Sabha. of which 12 are nominated. The votes of the nominated members aren’t counted, so the remaining elected members of the Rajya Sabha, are 233. Adding both numbers, 233 + 543 = 776 Elected Members of Parliament. The total value of votes of all the MLAs was 543231, So the total value of votes of all MPs needs to be the same. 543,231.This number is then divided by 776, You’ll get 700.0399. Rounding it off to the nearest whole number, you’ll get 700.
It means that the value of the vote of each MP is 700. Here, the MPs from different states are differentiated. All the elected members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha each their votes have the value of 700 assigned to them. The total value of the votes of the MPs is 700 x 776 = 543,200. Approximately, it is the same as the total value of the votes of all MLAs. The numbers aren’t matching due to rounding off. Now the votes from the Union Government, the value of their votes, and the value of the votes of the State Government are then added up.
It gives the total value would be of all the possible votes cast in the Presidential Elections. What is the total value of all of it? It is 1,086,431. The remaining part of the calculations is simple. The winning candidate simply needs to cross the 50% majority mark. If every politician who should be voting, votes in the Presidential Elections, then the majority mark would be 543,216. But it doesn’t happen. Similar to how in the general elections, not everyone casts their vote, the same can be seen in Presidential elections.
The situation was that there were 5 vacancies in Rajya Sabha, and 6 vacancies in the State Assemblies. 2 MLAs were disqualified, so there were a total of 4,025 MLAs eligible to vote. But actually, only 3,991 of them voted. Of the 771 MPs, only 763 voted. The overall voter turnout was at 99%, whereas in the general elections by the common people, the voter turnout is generally at 60%-70%. And here it was 99%.
Another interesting fact about these elections is that the politicians who go to cast their vote, and regardless of the political party, they are a part of, their political party cannot force them to vote for the selected candidate of the political party. Similar to the general elections, conducted on secret ballots. We vote in secret and we can vote for anyone, without letting anyone else know.
The same thing is available to these politicians too. They vote on a secret ballot. By the way, they vote on a ballot paper, while we vote on an EVM, and they continue to use ballot papers. And the candidate they are voting for doesn’t need to be revealed to anyone. No one would know anyway, so it is a good practice for democracy. That any politician from any political party can vote for any candidate.
Secretly some interesting cross-voting can be seen in these elections across party lines. Odisha’s MLA Mohammad Moquim is a Congress MLA, but he said that he voted for NDA’s candidate Draupadi Murmu. Because both of them are from Odisha, and his personal preference was Draupadi Murmu. Similarly, Haryana’s Congress MLA, Kuldeep Bishnoi, said that he had voted for Draupadi Murmu. That he voted based on his conscience.
So, friends, this is how Draupadi Murmu won this election, and now she’ll be India’s next president. She began he political career in 1997 by joining BJP. The same year she had run for Councillor elections. And won. Later, in 2000 she became an MLA, and then again in 2004, she became an MLA again. Later on in her career, she even held the portfolios of Transport and Commerce Of Animal husbandry and fisheries, under the Naveen Patnaik-led coalition government.
In 2007, she was awarded the Neelkanth Award for being the best MLA in Odisha. In 2009, she contested the Lok Sabha elections, but she lost there. Over the next 6 years, she had to bear several unfortunate accidents with her. She lost both of her sons, and her husband, in a series of unfortunate incidents. But in 2015, senior BJP leaders made her the Governor of Jharkhand. And she became the first tribal woman to be a governor.
Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr. Amedkar has been an inspiration for her. And she has raised several concerns, about the poor living conditions of the SC/ST. It is believed that people around her admire her simplicity and her humble nature. And once she becomes the President of India, she will be the first tribal woman, to be the President of India.
In addition to it, she will be the first President to have been born in Independent India. Because all our previous presidents were born before Independence.