NEWS

The BJP Has The Numbers; Ram Nath Kovind Will Almost Certainly Be The Next President

The NDA is just short of a majority but its outreach has paid off.

20/06/2017 3:54 PM IST | Updated 20/06/2017 3:59 PM IST
BCCL
File photo of BJP's Presidential nomination Ram Nath Kovind.

The BJP is on track to get the numbers it needs to get its Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind elected, rendering the Opposition's hunt to find a rival candidate largely moot.

The President is elected by an electoral college made up of all of India's MPs and MLAs, 4896 people in all this time around. Every vote does not have the same value; the value of an MLA's vote is that of the state's population (as of the 1971 Census) divided by one thousand times the number of seats in that state's legislative assembly. The value of an MLA's vote in 2017 ranges from 7 (Sikkim) to 208 (Uttar Pradesh).

The value of an MP's vote is equal to the total value of all MLA votes divided by the total number of MPs. In 2017, that works out to a value of 708 per MP. Taken together, the total value of all votes in this election is 10,98,903. Every voter marks candidates in order of preference.

For its candidate to get elected, the BJP needs to get at least 50% +1 of the value of first preference votes; in the unlikely event that this does not happen, there will be subsequent rounds of voting during each of which the lowest polling candidate is removed.

The NDA's current strength in the electoral college is 5,37,683, which is 48.93% of the total votes, The Times of India reports. This leaves it short of a majority, but its outreach to friends and allies seems to have paid off.

With the TRS (2%), AIADMK (5.39%), BJD (2.99%) and YSR Congress (1.53%) already pledging support to the NDA candidate, this goes up to 60.84%.

There are also possibilities of the JD(U) (1.91%), SP (2.37%) and BSP (0.86%) coming on board, in which case the NDA will have the support of 65.98% of the electoral college, TOI reports.

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