Advertisement

HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

Not just a figurehead: why a President is important

Charu Sudan Kasturi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 16, 2012
First Published: 19:18 IST(16/7/2012) | Last Updated: 11:20 IST(17/7/2012)

The Prime Minister and his cabinet wield all executive powers at the centre in India, unlike Presidential systems like that in the US.

Advertisement

But the election of India's 14th President on July 19 is not just a token process to select a figurehead.

The President is the head of the Indian state, holding a post that captures the authority of the Constitution – the fundamental law of the land. 

In a fractious polity, the President could play a key role in deciding which political formation is called to form a government in 2014 if the Lok Sabha elections two years from now throw up a hung verdict.

All bills passed by Parliament must be signed into law by the President.

The President also has the power to return all bills other than a money bill or a constitutional amendment bill to Parliament for its reconsideration – though she or he can only do so once with each bill.

APJ Abdul Kalam returned the controversial office of profit bill – which saves several MPs from disqualification – in 2006 for Parliament's reconsideration.

Though he eventually signed the bill into law after it was sent to him a second time, Kalam's act embarrassed the government.

The President can also delay signing a bill into law.

Results to the Presidential elections will be declared on July 22.

Related stories:

How the Presidential elections work
Pranab Mukherjee: Ex-smoker, permanent workaholic
Purno Sangma: Defying all odds

Not coming out tops in this
It's been uphill to Raisina Hill


Advertisement
more from New Delhi
Advertisement
Most Popular
Advertisement
Advertisement
Copyright © 2014 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved