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A look at the widest and closest victory margins in last 65 years

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A look at the widest and closest victory margins in last 65 years

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The voting to elect the 15th President of India is underway with NDA candidate Droupadi Murmu having a clear edge over Opposition’s Yashwant Sinha as over 60 per cent votes are expected to be cast in her favour. The counting of votes will take place at Parliament House on July 21 and the next President will take oath on July 25.

The electoral college which elects the president through the system of proportional representation comprises elected MPs and members of state legislative assemblies. Nominated MPs and MLAs, and members of legislative councils are not entitled to vote in this election.

The value of the vote of a member of Parliament has gone down to 700 from 708 in this presidential poll due to the absence of a legislative assembly in Jammu and Kashmir.

In states, the value of vote of each MLA varies in different states. In Uttar Pradesh, the value of vote of each MLA stands at 208, followed by 176 in Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu. In Maharashtra, it is 175. In Sikkim, the value of vote per MLA is seven, while it is nine in Nagaland and eight in Mizoram.

As the process to elect Ram Nath Kovind’s successor gets underway, here is a look at the biggest and closest vote margins in the past presidential elections: 

Biggest victory margins

1957: India’s first president Rajendra Prasad was eyeing a second straight term and facing challenge from Chowdhry Hari Ram and Nagendra Narayan Das. Prasad polled 4,59,698 votes while Das and Ram failed to cross even 5,000 votes combined. 

1962: Dr S Radhakrishnan, Chowdhry Hari Ram and Yamuna Prasad Trisulia were in fray to succeed Rajendra Prasad. Dr Radhakrishnan polled 5,53,067 votes while the other two managed to garner only 10,000 votes combined. 

1977: This was a rare case which will technically not be counted as an election. The presidential polls were necessitated following the sudden demise of incumbent Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed in February 1977, a total of 37 candidates filed their nominations. On scrutiny, the Returning Officer rejected 36 of these, which led to unopposed election of Sanjeeva Reddy. 

1997: KR Narayana eclipsed TN Seshan to become the 11th President of India, garnering 9,56,290 votes against the 50,631 votes received by Seshan. 

2002: Dr APJ Abdul Kalam polled 9,22,884 votes against Lakshmi Sehgal who received 1,07,366 votes. 

Closest victory margins

1967: 17 candidates were in fray for the country’s top Constitutional post, out of which nine polled zero votes. Dr Zakir Hussain emerged victorious with 4,71,244 votes, while his nearest rival Kota Subbarao got 3,63,971.

1969: The elections were necessitated by the death of incumbent Dr Zakit Hussain in May 1969, following which Vice-President VV Giri became Acting President. He the resigned from both positions to contest the presidential elections

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