NDA vs Oppn: India might to witness tightest presidential poll since 1969
The upcoming presidential polls in July may turn out to be the closest electoral contest of the kind since 1969, when VV Giri faced off with Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy.
The fifth presidential election was the only time no candidate reached the required majority mark in the first count. Candidate after candidate was cast out until only Giri and Reddy remained in fray. Finally, Giri emerged victorious.
This year, the Opposition seems all set to unite behind the Congress to field a common candidate against the BJP-led NDA. However, neither they nor the NDA have the numbers required to reach the majority mark. Consequently, all eyes will be on two parties – Tamil Nadu’s ruling party AIADMK and Naveen Patnaik’s BJD.
If the NDA can retain its entire flock, it will require around 18,300 votes of the electoral college for the presidential elections. While the AIADMK has 59,224 votes, the BJD enjoys 32,892.
Both the NDA and the Opposition are trying to woo these two crucial parties. Even if one of them supports the NDA, the candidate put up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will sail through comfortably.
All the presidential elections held so far have witnessed contests. The most hard-fought one in 1969 saw Giri getting just 15,000 more votes than Reddy after the first count. Finally, the vote difference rose up to 88,000.
The electoral college of the President comprises both MPs and MLAs, and each vote weighs in accordance with proportional representation. While all MP votes bear equal value, the weightage of MLA votes differs from state to state. MLAs from Uttar Pradesh carry the highest value while those from Sikkim have the least.
(Interactive by Samarth Bansal)