Will deferring Assembly polls cost BJP presidential elections?

Opposition camp say that deferment of election means that BJP will not be that comfortable in Presidential elections

New Delhi: Amid the possibility on deferring the upcoming Assembly elections due to threat of Covid’s rapidly-spreading Omicron variant, the Election Commission had, recently, said that all the parties want the elections at the scheduled time, but the opposition is indicating that the BJP is pushing for elections for their benefit even amid the threat of third wave.

Sources in the opposition camp say that the deferment of election means that BJP will not be that comfortable in the Presidential elections which is likely to be conducted in June-July in 2022, as the President is indirectly elected by an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both houses of parliament and the Assemblies.

The electoral colleges comprises 776 MPs of both the houses and 4,120 MLAs of all the states and Union Territories. The electoral college has 1,098,903 votes, and a majority is 549,452 votes. As per the value of votes is considered, UP has highest number of votes, approximately 83,824 followed by Maharashtra and West Bengal.

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The BJP has brute majority in the assemblies of UP, Goa, Manipur, and Uttarakhand and any deferment will lead to the assemblies being dissolved and will put the game in the opposition camp. If it joins hands and puts up a joint candidate, the BJP will find it tough to win the election. The only way would be the division in the opposition camp which may be a difficult task.

If the opposition puts a candidate like NCP supremo Sharad Pawar who is capable of mustering support from others like the Trinamool Congress, the BJD, the TRS, the YSRCP, the CPI-M, the CPI and the other parties, then the BJP will have a tough task as it only the BJP will be having government in big states like MP, Gujarat and Karnataka.

The past NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee has to field A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to get support from non-NDA parties, while UPA candidates Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee had attracted support from many political parties.

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