A veteran Congress Party politician, Mr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, seems destined to become the next?
A veteran Congress Party politician, Mr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, seems destined to become the next President of India. Victory for the 69-year old party politician seems assured as Congress, the ruling party in the Government, holds about 60 per cent of the votes in the Electoral college of Legislators from the Central parliament and the State Assemblies. It is this body which elects the President.
The election for a successor for the current President, Mr. V.V. Giri, will be held on August 17th, and the result will be declared three days later.
Mr. Ahmed's only opponent will be Mr. Tridib Kuma Chaudhury, who has the backing of eight opposition parties. Eleven other candidates put forward their names but failed to muster the twenty proposers and seconders necessary for the electoral College.
Mr. Ahmed, who joined the Congress Party in 1931 will, if elected, become the fifth President of India since its independence from Britain. He would also be the second Moslem to hold the post in a predominantly Hindu country where about 80 million people of a total population of 570 million, are Moslem.
Mr. Ahmed, a small quiet spoken man, is a non-controversial candidate. He is expected to confine himself to the largely ceremonial duties surrounding the President's office. After being imprisoned twice in the lawyer. He then served as a Minister in the Northeastern state of Osseum for many years. He first became a central Government Minister in 1966. He was Food and Agricultural Minister from 1970 until his recent resignation to run for President. The last two years have been difficult for India's hopes of increasing its agricultural production, and Mr. Ahmed has been widely criticised for his handling of the portfolio.
His opponent, Mr. Chaudhury is one of only two members of the Revolutionary Socialist Party in the Lower House of Parliament.
Electoral votes are distributed according to population. A total of 4,405 electors are technically responsible for 1,086,263 votes and they will cast their ballots for the new President in New Delhi and the State Capitals.