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Droupadi Murmu vs Yashwant Sinha: How India will elect its new President

Students of Gurukul School of Art make the paintings of Opposition's Presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha and National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu wishing them luck for the upcoming Presidential elections, in Mumbai. (Deepak Salvi)Premium
Students of Gurukul School of Art make the paintings of Opposition's Presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha and National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu wishing them luck for the upcoming Presidential elections, in Mumbai. (Deepak Salvi)

  • The scale appears to be heavily tilted towards NDA's Droupadi Murmu on track to become first Adivasi president of the country, as per reports of early predictions

The stage is all set for a very important electoral battle in India - the one that will elect country's new president. On the one hand is the ruling BJP party nomination former Jharkhand Governor Draupadi Murmu, on the other former Union minister Yashwant Sinha pitted together by a range of Opposition parties. Notably, the polling for the Presidential election is all set to begin from today at 10 am in the Parliament with almost 4,800 MPs and MLAs slated to vote today to elect the President of India. The tenure of the current President of India Ram Nath Kovind comes to an end on July 24.

Droupadi Murmu vs Yashwant Sinha:

The scale appears to be heavily tilted towards National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu is on track to become first Adivasi president of the country, as per reports of early predictions. The early predictions notified that Droupadi Murmu has a clear edge over Opposition's Yashwant Sinha, with the support of regional parties such as Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), Shiromani Akali Dal, Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), AIADMK, TDP, YSRCP and Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas). Now JMM, Murmu's vote share is likely to reach nearly two-thirds as she now has over 6.67 lakh votes after the support of various regional parties, out of a total of 10,86,431 votes. If Murmu is elected as the next President of India, she will become the first woman from the tribal community to occupy the top constitutional post and also the youngest occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan. 

Meanwhile, the opposition Presidential candidate

Yashwant Sinha has the support of Congress, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Trinamool Congress, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Akhilesh Yadav led-Samajwadi Party, National Conference, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), Rashtriya Janata Dal and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). 

Election process in India:

The electoral college elects the country's President through the system of proportional representation comprising of elected members of Parliament and members of state legislative assemblies. It is important to note that the nominated MPs and MLAs, and members of legislative councils are not entitled to vote in this election. 

Additionally, the system of a secret ballot is followed and parties cannot issue whip to their MPs and MLAs with regard to voting. The value of the vote of a member of Parliament has gone down to 700 from 708 in this presidential poll due to the absence of a legislative assembly in Jammu and Kashmir. The value of the vote of an MLA varies in different states. In Uttar Pradesh, the value of the vote of each MLA stands at 208, followed by 176 in Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu. In Maharashtra, it is 175. In Sikkim, the value of vote per MLA is seven, while it is nine in Nagaland and eight in Mizoram.

In accordance with the Election Commission's directions, while MPs will get a green-coloured ballot paper, the MLAs will get a pink ballot paper to cast vote. Separate colours help the returning officer ascertain the value of vote of each MLA and MP. Seeking to maintain the secrecy of voting, the EC has issued a specially designed pen with violet ink to enable voters to mark their ballot papers in the presidential poll.

(With inputs from agencies)

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