The latest state election results bolster the ruling BJP’s grip on the Rajya Sabha and put the party squarely in charge of the election of a new president of India this year.
The BJP’s historic victory in Uttar Pradesh will have a direct influence on the Rajya Sabha elections on March 31 as well as the presidential election in July.
The President of India is chosen by an electoral college comprised of 776 MPs and 4,120 legislators. The electoral college has a total strength of 10,98,903 votes, with the BJP’s strength exceeding the halfway point.
Each vote cast for an MP is worth 708. In the case of MLAs, the value of the vote varies by state. In Uttar Pradesh, MLA votes have the greatest value – 208.
The BJP and its allies won over 270 seats in Uttar Pradesh, putting the incumbent party in a strong position to choose the next President.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu is a favourite for the top job, but the BJP leadership has still to decide if incumbent Ram Nath Kovind should be given another term.
As per government insiders, “a lot of vetting is necessary,” and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make a selection after a comprehensive evaluation of the most qualified candidate to inhabit Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The administration will aim to achieve an agreement with its partners, including backing groups like the YSR Congress and Naveen Patnaik’s BJD.