NEW DELHI: The value of the vote of a Member of Parliament is likely to go down to 700 from 708 in the presidential polls scheduled in July due to the absence of a legislative assembly in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.
The value of the vote of an MP in a presidential election is based on the number of elected members in legislative assemblies of states and union territories, including Delhi, Puducherry, Jammu, and Kashmir. The Electoral College for the presidential election comprises the members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and those of the legislative assemblies of states and union territories including Delhi, Puducherry, and Jammu and Kashmir.
Before it was bifurcated into two union territories of Ladakh, and Jammu & Kashmir in August 2019, the erstwhile state of J&K had 83 assembly seats.
According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, the Union Territory of J&K will have a legislative assembly, while Ladakh will be governed directly by the Centre. The government had announced that elections to the legislative assembly would be held after the completion of the delimitation of assembly constituencies.
Last week, the Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir notified its final order in which it has recommended a 90-member House for the newly carved out union territory. But it may take some time to have an elected House in place in the UT.
It is not for the first time that legislators of a state assembly will not be able to participate in the presidential elections. In 1974, the 182-member Gujarat Assembly was dissolved in March following the Navnirman Andolan and could not be constituted before the presidential election in which Fakruddin Ali Ahmed was elected. However, Jammu and Kashmir will not go unrepresented in the presidential elections as members of Lok Sabha will be eligible to exercise their franchise to elect the First Citizen of the country.
The value of the vote of a Member of Parliament has been fixed at 708 since the 1997 presidential election.
The value of vote of a Member of Parliament for the first Presidential election in 1952 was 494. It increased marginally to 496 in the 1957 presidential election, followed by 493 (1962), 576 (1967 and 1969). The presidential elections were held in 1969 due to the death of President Zakir Hussain on May 3, 1969. In the 1974 presidential election, the value of vote of an MP was 723. It has been fixed at 702 for the presidential elections from 1977 to 1992.
President Ram Nath Kovind completes his term on July 24, and his successor has to be elected before that. By holding bypolls to the Rajya Sabha and state legislative assemblies, the Election Commission is trying to fill up vacancies to complete the Electoral College which elects the president. (PTI)