A slum dweller from Mumbai, a namesake of RJD founder Lalu Prasad Yadav, a social activist from Tamil Nadu and a professor from Delhi are among those who have submitted their nomination papers to contest the July 18 presidential election.
While NDA nominee Droupadi Murmu and common opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha are the main contestants, at least 30 others also have filed their nomination papers with Rajya Sabha Secretary General P C Mody, the returning officer for the election.
Sanjay Savji Deshpande, a resident of the Amar Nagar Slum No. 1 in Mumbai’s Mulund suburb, was among those who filed their nomination papers days after the election was announced on June 9.
Lalu Prasad Yadav, a resident of Saran in Bihar, T Ramesh, a social worker from Namakkal district in Tamil Nadu, and Prof Dayashankar Agarwal from Timarpur in Delhi are the other nominations that have garnered some eyeballs in the presidential nomination.
Most of the nomination papers do not have the mandatory names and signatures of proposers and seconders or a bank draft of Rs 15,000 as security deposit and are set to be rejected.
A couple of presidential hopefuls from Maharashtra have listed names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP president J P Nadda, former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, local MPs and MLAs as proposers and seconders, but have left the signature column blank.
Among those who have submitted their nomination papers also include Pareshkumar Manubhai Mulani from Ahmedabad, Ved Vyas from Mahedragad in Haryana, Ashok Shankar Patil from Dhule in Maharashtra, Vivek Sakharam Bagekar from Pune, Amit Kumar Sharma from Shahdara in Delhi, Ravikumar Kesagani from Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Kankanla Penchala Naidu from Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, Dr K Padmarajan from Salem in Tamil Nadu and Saira Bano Mohammad Patel from Andheri, Maharashtra.
The presidential election in 1967 had 17 contestants – the highest till date — in the fray.
Zakir Hussain was elected the third President of India.
The fifth presidential election in 1969, necessitated due to the death of Hussain, saw 15 candidates in the fray. This election is considered the most interesting for the presidential post as the then prime minister Indira Gandhi, battling detractors within the Congress, had called for a ”conscience vote” leading to the defeat of the official nominee Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy.
Varaha Venkat Giri, an independent candidate, then became the President.
In 1974, the Election Commission amended the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election Act to introduce a security deposit of Rs 2,500 for those keen on contesting the election.
The commission also made it mandatory for nominees to have at least 10 members of the electoral college as proposers and another 10 as seconders.
The number of proposers and seconders was increased from 10 to 50 in 1997, ahead of the 11th presidential election, while the security deposit was hiked to Rs 15,000.