The Indian Presidential Elections 2012 – All you wanted to know by Aditya Ashok


With the presidential elections just three months away, the following piece is more an informative article that talks on president of India and the possible candidates for the highest post in the country.

Who is a President?

Many are still confused with the Prime Minister and President.

The President of India is the head of stateof the Republic of India while Prime Minister is the head of the government. The president is the formal head of the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary branches of Indian Democracy and is the commander-in-chief of the Indian Armed Forces.

How the term President of India originated?

It was the decision of the architects of Indian Constitution to sweep aside the King and Governor General and replace the same with office of President of India.

The President is elected by the elected members of the Parliament and the elected members of the state legislature assemblies.

How is president elected?

President is elected indirectly for a term of five years.  The President is elected by the elected members of the Parliament and the elected members of the state legislature assemblies. Vote of each MP is equal while an MLA vote’s value depends on the state he belongs.  Article 55 talks about uniformity in the scale of representation of the different states in the presidential election.  But in most of the cases the MLAs and MPs vote according to their party’s will.

Possible Candidates for 14th Presidential Election

The candidate list is yet to be declared but the following may emerge as the possible candidate:

  • Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam: Though he was the 11th President of India but article 57 says that a president can be reelected. He has emerged as a favorable choice for the president. It was Mulayam Singh Yadav who had suggested his candidature during the NDA regime, and now he is again in favor for him and principal opposition party BJP is also read to support him.

He is 81 now he will be 86 by the time next election comes.

  • Pranab Mukherjee: Often referred as an encyclopedic mind, Pranab Mukherjee served three PMs but could not become the PM but now he is a front-runner in this race. This troubleshooter of the Congress party has an edge over others as there are strong voices in his support within his party as well as outside.

But I wonder how long UPA government can survive without Pranab Mukherjee.

  • Hamid Ansari: The chances of Vice President Hamid Ansari becoming a UPA sponsored candidate are bright considering the government is highly dependent on Mukherjee. Country’s most populous state UP’s will always be ready to back a Muslim candidate.
  • Meira Kumar: The first woman speaker of Lok Sabha appears to be the third in UPA’s presidential candidate list.
  • A.K Antony: Secular India has seen Hindu president, Muslim president, and Sikh president, but yet to witness a Catholic, the defence minister is also in the race as he satisfies the criteria of 10 Janpath.
  • Gopal Krishna Gandhi:  With many Gandhians demanding the candidature of Mahatma Gandhi‘s grandson Gopal Krishna Gandhi for the President of India. His recent meeting with Odissa CM only shows his willingness for the highest constitutional post.
  • Sam Pitroda: Regarded as the man behind India’s telecom revolution, the current advisor to the Prime Minister on Innovations, Sam Pitroda has come out to be a dark horse in the race to become the next occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan. If he becomes he will be the first Gujarati to hold this position.
  • S.Y Quraishi: The present chief of Election Commission of India has also thrown his hat in the ring.
  • Parkash Singh Badal: He can be better considered as NDA sponsored vice president candidate.
  • Narayana Murthy and Ratan Tata: They are free now. But considering their apolitical background industrialist Ratan Tata and Infosys founder Murthy are often being projected as presidential candidates.

This is a guest post by Aditya Ashok. Aditya Ashok is an engineering student pursuing B.Tech IT and a self-described political enthusiast.

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