Modi's Guru Dakshina: Is Advani BJP's choice for President of India?

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The BJP after its big win in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand is in a position to appoint its own candidate as President of India. With support from the AIADMK and the BJD, the BJP can go about choosing its own candidate as it is close to the magic number in the electoral college. The new President will be elected after Pranab Mukherjee retires in July. The question is will the BJP appoint L K Advani as the President of India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP Senior leader L K Advani during the launch of Shraddheya Kidarnath Sahni Smriti Granth in New Delhi. Photo credit: Kamal Singh/PTI

While no decision has been taken yet, it is said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proposed Advani's name at a meeting, held in Somnath, Gujarat, in which party president Amit Shah was also present.

Sources, however, say that no final decision has been taken. There are many names that are doing the rounds. Advani's name too had cropped up several times. However, a final decision to this effect would be taken in June as the Presidential elections get closer the source also said.

With the big victories, the BJP and its allies have a vote value of 5.32 lakh in the electoral college. This is short by 17.500 of the half way mark. If the BJP gets the support of the BJD and the AIADMK, then the vote value would go up to 6,28,195. The vote value of 5,49,442 is enough to elect the President in the electoral college. The electoral college comprises 4,896 legislators. This includes the 776 Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members and 4,120 MLAs. The nominated members and the MLCs are not eligible to vote.

The vote value of each LS and RS member is 708. The vote value of the MLA depends on the population of the state. The vote value of an MLA is equivalent to the population of the state divided by the number of elected legislators divided, yet again, by 1,000. In UP the vote value of an MLA is the highest. It is at 209. The lowest vote value is from Sikkim at 7.

Currently, the BJP and its allies have a vote value of 5,31,954. The BJP would need
17,488 and it would depend on the BJD and AIADMK for the same. The vote value of 134 AIADMK MLAs is 23,584. The vote value of 50 AIADMK MPs is 35,400. The BJD MLAs have a vote value of 17,433 while its 28 MLAs have a vote value of 19,824.

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