UP victory to help BJP in presidential polls, Rajya Sabha numbers

By Anjali Ojha  

New Delhi, (IANS): The BJP’s massive victory in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand will help the party in the upcoming presidential election and also increase its strength in the Rajya Sabha.

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While the BJP won 312 of 403 seats in Uttar Pradesh, in Uttarakhand it won 57 of 70 seats.

The presidential election, likely to take place in July this year, involves complex mathematics as the electoral college comprises of all elected MPs and MLAs, whose vote has a defined weightage depending on size of the population.

Uttar Pradesh, being the most populated state has the highest value per MLA’s vote at 208 and Sikkim has the lowest at seven. Every MP’s vote carries weightage of 708.

All together, the total value of the votes of the MPs and MLAs sum up to 10,98,882. Of this, a candidate needs 50 per cent of the votes to win.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with 282 Lok Sabha members and 56 Rajya Sabha members has total weightage of 2,39,304 in parliament.

Before the results of assembly polls in the five states – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Punjab and Goa – the BJP had a total weightage of 1,02,075 as per the formula from its elected MLAs.

The victory in Uttar Pradesh will add a value of over 80,000 to the BJP’s kitty and a value of about 8,000 would be added from other four states – Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur and Punjab – whose results were also announced on Saturday.

The vote value is likely to fall short by around 1.19 lakh in getting a majority according to the stipulated formula, but BJP leaders say that the party will also get support of its allies in the election to cross the half-way mark.

“Including allies, we will be able to have clear majority in the Presidential election,” said a BJP leader, who did not want to be named.

“The figure of 5.49 lakh votes is therefore just representative. It depends on the actual number of valid votes polled,” the leader added.

Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo member Mohammad Salim told IANS that the results in Uttar Pradesh had given BJP the advantage in the presidential election.

Asked about the possibility of the Opposition parties putting up a joint candidate, he said it was not yet on the agenda but could be discussed in the future.

Former Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi said that victory in Uttar Pradesh will make a big difference to the BJP’s prospects in the presidential election.

“Every victory counts, and larger the majority a party gets, the more is its stake in presidential election. Winning Uttar Pradesh is certainly going to make a huge difference (to BJP),” Quraishi told IANS.

In the 2012 election for the President, UPA’s Pranab Mukherjee got 713,763 votes and won the election, defeating P.A. Sangma who got 315,987 votes.

In 2007, Pratibha Patil, with 638,116 votes won over her nearest rival Bhairon Singh Shekhawat who got 331,306 votes. At that time, Patil was the candidate backed by the ruling Congress, and other allies of the UPA, and even NDA ally Shiv Sena, while Shekhawat was the unofficial candidate of the NDA.

The BJP’s performance in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand will also boost its numbers in the Rajya Sabha where the BJP-led government lacks a majority.

Uttar Pradesh sends the largest 31 members to the upper house. However, BJP’s increased strength will only be reflected in biennial elections next year when there will be 11 vacancies from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.