Essay on the Election of President and Vice-President of India – The Union Executive is headed by the President and comprises the Vice-President and the Council of Ministers with the Prime Minister at the head to aid and advice the President.
Article 52 and Article 53 provide that the executive power of the Union shall be vested in the President and shall be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinates to him in accordance with the Constitution of India.
President is also the Constitutional head of the nation and the Supreme Commander of the defence forces. His salary is fixed by Parliament from time to time, which presently stands at Rs. 50,000 per month.
Election of the President:
Article 54 provides that the President is to be elected by an electoral college consisting of elected members of both Houses of Parliament and of the State Legislative Assemblies. According to Article 55, the system of election is proportional representation by means of single transferable vote and through secret ballot.
To secure uniformity among the States inter se as well as parity between the State as a whole and the Union, suitable weight age is given to each vote. Under Article 55 of the Constitution, the population under 1971 census will be reckoned for this purpose till the year 2026. The Supreme Court decides on disputes relating to the election of the President.
To be the President of India one must be a citizen of India, must have completed 35 years of age, must be qualified for election as a member of the Lok Sabha, and must not hold any office of profit under the Government of India or any State.
The term of office of President is five years and he can be re-elected. The term can be interrupted in case of death or removal of the President (impeachment) and also if he resigns. The President must address his letter of resignation to the Vice-President. If he dies in office or resigns or remains absent, the Vice-President officiates.
Article 61 provides for the impeachment of the President for the violation of the Constitution. For his impeachment, a resolution may be moved in either House. A notice of at least 14 days and signed by at least one-fourth of the total members of the House is needed.
Then the resolution must be passed by two-third majority of the total membership of the House, after which the other House investigates the charge (of violation of Constitution) and may adopt a resolution with two-third majority of the total membership.
This is the final step after which the impeachment of the President is complete. During the impeachment proceedings, the President has the right to defend himself.
Vice-President of India:
The Vice-President of India is not only the President’s deputy but is also the ex officio Chairman of Council of States (Rajya Sabha). However, when he officiates for the President in his absence he ceases to be the ex officio Chairman of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha).
The Vice-President acts as President and discharges his functions during casual vacancies or during his absence otherwise. The Vice-President is elected by the members of Electoral College formed out of the members of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in accordance with the system of proportional representations by means of single transferable secret ballot system.
To be elected as the Vice-President one must be a citizen of India and must have completed 35 years of age and must be qualified for election as a member of Rajya Sabha. The Vice-President holds office for 5 years and if he wishes to relinquish office he can render his resignation to the President.
The Vice-President can be removed from his office on resolution by majority of the members of Rajya Sabha provided that such resolution is agreed upon by the Lok Sabha subject to a 14-days-notice. He holds his office until his successor is appointed. The Vice- President takes oath from President of India or from any other authority appointed on his behalf.