25 July, 2017 is the day that marks the termination of tenure of the 13th President of India. Hence,election would be held on July 17, 2017 to elect the 14th President of India. Presidential election is conducted through Proportional Representation System. In case of Parliamentary elections people choose their representatives belonging to different parties. The party with majority seats in Lok Sabha thus forms the Government in centre. Proportional Representation System involves all the elected representatives from every state (Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha and State Assembly members) to cast a single transferable vote. Each member holding a value directly or indirectly proportional to total population of the state.
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Probable Candidates for Presidential Election
Najma Heptulla former Minister of Minority Affairs, who is the current Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia University is one of the probable contender for Presidential Election. She is the current Governor of Manipur. The former Vice-President of BJP is a 5 time member of Rajya Sabha. She had held the post of Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha for sixteen years. She was a former member of Congress party but switched sides in 2004 joining BJP.
She is the current Speaker of Lok Sabha. A shrewd politician, avid questioner, and a keen debater, Sumitra Mahajan had held 19 major appointments in her political career spanning over 3 decades. She is the senior-most woman leader in Parliament. Sumitra Mahajan holds the record for being the first Indian woman to represent the same Lok Sabha constituency on the same party ticket for eight times in a row. She headed many important committees and was
Union Minister of State, Ministry of Human Resource Development from October 1999 – June 2002
Union Minister of State, Ministry of Communication & Information Technology from July 2002 – May 2003
Union Minister of State, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas form 24 May 2003 – May 2004
Popularly, she is called as ‘Tai’ by the people of her constituency. She is believed to be the strongest contender for the Presidential Election.
The current Governor of Jharkhand, Draupadi Murmu is the first woman governor of Jharkhand. She is the first tribal leader from Odisha to be appointed as a Governor in an Indian state. During her political career (spanning 2 decades) she held two major appointments viz. MoS with independent charge for Commerce and Transport from 2000-02 & Fisheries and Animal Resource Development from 2002-04 under BJP & BJD coalition Government in Odisha. She received the best MLA award from Odisha Legislative Assembly for her services. One of the top contender for Presidential Election, nominating her would provide multiple benefits to BJP. Being a dalit leader, she is unlikely to be opposed by the opposition and would be able to draw support from BJD as she was a Minister under the BJD coalition in Odisha. The experts have placed their bets on this contender.
Thawar Chand Gehlot
Thawar Chand Gehlot is the incumbent Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment in the NDA Govt. A member of Rajya Sabha, he represents the state of Madhya Pradesh. He is BJP’s national General Secretary and was also deputed as the central observer of the party for Gujarat and is considered close to PM Modi. He was also the Minister of State for Water Resources form 1990-92. Apart from this he had held 12 major appointments. He was also awarded ‘Best Legislator‘ award by the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
It is also being rumored that it was RSS that had instructed Modi Govt to field a dalit candidate for Presidential Election.
The opposition would also field its candidate/s for the Presidential Election. Following are some of the probables.
Gopal Krishna Gandhi
The grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, was the former Governor of West Bengal. A well known scholar, Gopal Krishna Gandhi could be name from the opposition.
The opposition would have no problem in seeing President Pranab Mukherjee being re-elected as the 14th President of India.
Draupadi Murmu vs Sumitra Mahajan will be the face of the race and we may see Sumitra Mahajan as the 14th President of India.