Presidential elections dates announced: Voting on July 17, result on July 20

The election to elect 14th President of India will be held on July 17 with counting of votes slated for July 20, the Election Commission announced on Wednesday. Polling, if necessary, will be held on July 17.

The Chief Election Commissioner said presidential election will take place through secret ballot and political parties "cannot issue any whip" to their respective MPs or MLAs.

"Political parties can not issue whips to their MPs or MLAs in the voting of presidential polls", the chief election commissioner said. President Pranab Mukherejee's term expires on July 25.

When asked whether the 20 AAP MLAs, against whom the EC is hearing a petition seeking their disqualification for allegedly holding office of profit, can vote in the polls, he said "as on today" they can vote.

While the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is confident that it has the numbers to gain support for its candidate, the opposition too is coming together to field a candidate of its own if the government fails to propose a consensus candidate.

They need 1.7% votes to get their presidential candidate elected.

While the BJP is the single largest party in the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and rules more states than any other party, its candidate is not guaranteed to win and it will need the help of a neutral party like the AIADMK. Zaidi added that Secretary General of Lok Sabha will be the Returning Officer for the elections.

Every elector can have as many preferences as the candidates contesting the election and the victor has to secure the required quota of votes to be declared elected - 50 per cent of the valid votes plus one.

Another important aspect, Zaidi said, was that every nomination paper of a candidate would have to be subscribed to by at least 50 electors as proposers and by at least another 50 electors as seconders.

  • Leroy Wright