Not just allies, NDA may need support of other parties for its presidential nominee

Priyanka Rathi
The BJP will need the support of like-minded political parties.

Even after a saffron surge in the country, the Bharatiya Janata Party still needs the help of its allies
to get its presidential nominee on the top post. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be hosting a dinner on Monday for about 50 leaders from the BJP and 31 regional allies ahead of the crucial presidential polls.

The Modi government will celebrate its third anniversary in May and is trying to get its allies on board for the crucial elections in July.

President Pranab Mukherjee will demit office on July 25 and Vice President Hamid Ansari will complete his second tenure in August.

The President of India is elected by an electoral college that’s formed by 776 Parliamentarians and 4,120 legislators. The total strength of the electoral college is 10,98,882 votes and the halfway mark is 5,49,442 votes.

The value of MPs’ votes is uniform but it varies for MLAs according to the population of the state as estimated during the 1971 census. MPs have the highest value — 708 — for each vote.

The total votes of BJP in the electoral college stand at 4,33,182 and along with its allies its number has increased to 5,24,088.

The NDA is short of only about 25,000 votes and will be looking at friendly parties for their support to get the required number. The consensus of regional parties — AIADMK, BJD, TMC — will depend on the presidential nominee.

Apart from building consensus with friendly parties, the BJP needs to keep its allies intact as it cannot afford to lose the numbers.

The electoral college comprises all elected MPs and MLAs. Votes of nominated members are not counted.

Future arithmetic

After the recently concluded Assembly election in five states, the scenario will change in the Rajya Sabha as well.

The tenure of 10 MPs from Uttar Pradesh and one from Uttarakhand is going to end in 2018. Even the tenure of four nominated MPs will end in 2018. This will only help the BJP to push its candidates in Rajya Sabha where it lacks a majority.

This year, elections will be held in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. The tenure of four Rajya Sabha MPs from Gujarat and one from Himachal will also end in 2018. A good show by the BJP in these states will only help in pushing its agenda.

In 2018, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh will go to polls. The tenure of four Rajya Sabha MPs from Karnataka, five from Madhya Pradesh, four from Rajasthan and one from Chhattisgarh will end in 2018.

Overall, 58 members will retire by next August and the BJP is expected to get at least half of these seats.