Seven Presidential Election of India, 1977: Winner Neelam Sanjiva Reddy

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SEVENTH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, 1977

1.Shri Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, the fifth President of India expired suddenly on 11-02-1977. The Vice-President, Shri B.D. Jatti, assumed office to act as President under article 65(1) of the Constitution. An election to fill a vacancy in the office of the President occurring by reason of death of Shri Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed was required to be held within 6 months from the date of the occurrence of the vacancys.

2. Necessary steps to fill the vacancy could not be taken immediately as the general election to constitute a new Lok Sabha had commenced w.e.f. 10-02-1977 and the election was
completed on 13-05-1977. General elections to constitute new Legislative Assemblies of 11 States were completed only in June-July, 1977.

RETURNING OFFICER

The Secretary, Lok Sabha (Shri Avtar Singh Rikhy).

ASSTT. RETURNING OFFICERS

Shri J.R. Kapoor, Chief Legislative Committee Officer, Lok Sabha Secretariat and the Secretaries of the Legislative Assemblies of the 22 States.

ELECTION PROGRAMME

1. Notified on 04.07.1977
2. Last date for making nomination 18.07.1977
3. Scrutiny of Nominations on 19.07.1977
4. Last date for withdrawal 21.07.1977
5. Date of Poll 06.08.1977 (10 A.M. to 5.P.M.)

ELECTORAL COLLEGE

The Electoral College consisted of elected members of Lok Sabha [524], Rajya Sabha [232] and 22 State Legislative Assemblies [3776]. Thus the total electors were 4532.

NO. OF VOTES FOR EACH MEMBER

Each Member of Parliament had 702 votes and the number of votes for each Member of the State Legislative Assemblies differed from State to State on the basis of the population. The lowest value of votes was for the MLAs of Sikkim State (07) and the highest value of votes was for the MLAs of Uttar Pradesh (208). The value of votes was calculated on the basis of 1971 census.

CANDIDATES

In all 37 candidates filed their nominations. On scrutiny, the Returning Officer rejected the nominations filed by 36 candidates. Thus only one validly nominated candidate remained in the field, namely, Shri Neelam Sanjiva Reddy. Neither the preparation nor publication of the list of contesting candidates for taking the poll therefore became necessary.
After 3.00 p.m. on the last date fixed for withdrawal of candidatures, viz., 21-07-1977, the Returning Officer declared the result of election under section 8(1) of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Elections Act, 1952 and Shri Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy was declared elected unopposed. THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME WHEN A CANDIDATE WAS DECLARED ELECTED TO THE HIGHEST OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA WITHOUT A CONTEST.

ANNOUNCEMENT

The announcement of election of Shri Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy as President of India was signed by the Chief Election Commissioner on 21-07-1977 and sent to the Home Secretary. The Home Secretary read the announcement at the time of assumption of office by the President on 25-07-1977.