New Delhi: The Presidential Election will be held on July 18 and the result will be announced three days later on July 21, the Election Commission (EC) announced on Thursday.
“The official notification will be issued on June 15 and nominations should be submitted by June 29,” Chief Election Commissioner Rajeev Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey said in a press conference.
July 2 is the last day for the withdrawal of candidacy.
President Ram Nath Kovind’s term ends on July 24, and according to the constitution, a new president must be appointed before his term expires.
The president is elected by the Electoral College, which consists of 776 members of parliament (members of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha) and 4,033 members of the legislative assembly, with a total of 4,809 votes. The total number of votes of the state legislators was 543,231 and the votes of the MPs were 543,200, totaling 1,086,431.
Nominated MPs and members of the Method Council are not allowed to vote. Each voter is allowed a single transferable vote and the ballot is made by secret ballot. Since anti-partisan law does not apply in the presidential election, voters are not bound to vote non-partisan.
“Political parties cannot give a whip to its members,” said Rajiv Kumar.
“The Supreme Court can invalidate an election if there is evidence of provocation or bribery.”
The commission will also issue a special pen that voters will need to use to vote. The general secretary of the Rajya Sabha has been appointed as the election official.
Voting will be held in the parliament complex and state legislatures and Covidi protocols will be followed in the conduct of the election.
In April, HT reported that Congress and other opposition parties have decided to field their own candidate against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance candidate in the upcoming presidential election.
An election for vice president is expected in August.
In 2017, the Congress-led opposition fielded former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar as its candidate. The governing body bagged 661,278 votes for Ram Nath Kovind, while Kumar received 434,241 votes.
However, the opposition is less likely to elect its candidate in the race. Although the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has a majority of 949 votes out of 549,452 votes, it still suffers from potential supporters such as the Biju Janata Dal and the YSR Congress Party.
In recent decades, APJ Abdul Kalam’s election as president has seen a rift between the ruling party and the opposition. Even then the Left parties pitted former INA soldier Laxmi Sehgal against Kalam.