UP Vote Holds Key

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The Assembly poll result will also decide the outcome of the July Presidential elections, writes Samarth Saran

 Pratibha Patil
Who next? Pratibha Patil has to bid goodbye in less than six months, Photo: Shailendra Pandey

THE RESULTS of the Assembly elections in five states will decide the fortunes not only of various political parties and the power play within the UPA coalition but also who will become the next President of India. Current President Pratibha Patil’s term ends in July.

The UPA at this point does not have the numbers to get its nominee elected to the post of President. In accordance with the provisions of Articles 54 and 55 of the Constitution, the electoral college that elects the President consists of the elected members of the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and all the Legislative Assemblies (excluding nominated members). Its total strength is 4,896.

The value assigned to an MP’s vote is 708. The MLAs’ vote value varies, depending on the population of each state. The total value of both together has a pre-determined value of 10,98,882. The system followed is of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote. The winner must secure 50 percent of the total value of votes polled. Thus, the minimum value that a Presidential candidate must secure to win is 5,49,442.

By this calculation, the UPA’s total vote value is 4,45,765 as of now. It falls short by 1,03,677 votes from the majority mark.

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ELECTORAL COLLEGE

LOK SABHA 543
RAJYA SABHA 233
TOTAL NUMBER OF MLAs 4,120
TOTAL 4,896

UPA VOTES 4,45,765
NDA 3,07,737
LEFT 51,646
SP 38,380
AIADMK 35,960
BSP 74,567
BJD 29,507
OTHERS 1,15,320

VOTE VALUE
10,98,882

MAJORITY MARK
5,29,442

SHORTFALL FOR UPA
1,03,677

NOTE
These figures reflect the present position, which will change in March

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For the UPA to get its nominee elected, a lot will depend on which way parties like the AIADMK (35,960), Left (51,646) and BJD (29,507) swing. Then there are the five states (Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh). The total value of votes in all these states comes to about 1,03,756. In Uttar Pradesh alone, the total value of votes is at 83,824.

At present, the Samajwadi Party (SP) with 27 MPs and 88 MLAs has a total vote value of 38,380. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) with 39 MPs and 219 MLAs commands a vote value of 74,567. These figures might change after the result and the Congress would be hoping that either the SP or BSP aligns with it so that they can scrape through in the presidential elections to be held in July. The total value of votes of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) stands at 3,07,737 and with the total value of votes of others at 1,15,320, the NDA too will watch which way smaller parties move. The poll result is crucial as the NDA might also be able to push its nominee if the Left, BJD and AIADMK support its candidate.

Ominously for the UPA, to push its candidate it will also have to keep the TMC happy as that ally controls about 45,484 vote value. And thereby hangs another tale.

Samarth Saran is a Correspondent with Tehelka.com. 
[email protected]

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