CBSE NCERT Class IX (9th) | Social Studies | Civics
CHAPTER 4 : ELECTORAL POLITICS
Importance Of Democratic Elections And Political Competition
Chaudhary Devi Lal promoted the Nyaya Yudh movement and formed the Lok Dal party in Haryana.
He won the state election against the ruling Congress party with the clear majority owing to his promised to waive the outstanding loans of farmers and small businessmen if his party came into power and formed the government.
He was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the state by the Governor of Haryana in 1987. Devi Lal as the Chief Minister, waived the outstanding loans of all farmers and small businessmen. His party ruled for four years.
In a democratic election, everyone has an equal right to vote, different parties and candidates contest freely and the voters have a right to choose their representative at regular intervals. Democracy is of the people, by the people and for the people.
The process by which people chose their representatives at regular intervals is known as election. Elections empower the people to express their choice by voting for their representatives. The process of election in democratic countries differs from that of non-democratic countries. In a democratic election the preferred contestant is elected. The elections are carried out in a free and fair manner.
Disadvantages of elections:
- Political competition creates a sense of disunity among different political groups across different localities.
- Unhealthy political competition deters good and deserving people from participating in the competition and as a result the people lose out on an able representative.
In an electoral competition, people appraise their elected representatives based on their performance as a people representative.
System of Elections In India
An election carried out every five years to the Lok Sabha or the Vidhan Sabha is known as a general election.Sometimes, the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha are dissolved and an election is held before the expiry of their full term of five years. Such an election is called a mid-term election. An election may need to be held for a single constituency, due to the untimely death or resignation of an elected member. The election carried out to fill this vacancy is known as a by-election.
The Indian election law provides that:
- Political parties or candidates cannot bribe or threaten voters
- They cannot ask for votes on the grounds of caste or religion
- They cannot make use of government resources or places of worship for campaigning
- They cannot spend more than Rs 25 lakh per constituency for a Lok Sabha election or more than Rs 10 lakh per constituency in an assembly election.
The Indian Constitution provides equal rights of representation to all the citizens of India.
The election system in India consists of the following stages:
- Delimitation of constituencies
- Reserved constituencies for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and also Other Backward classes and women
- Prepare a list of the eligible voters and distribute it among the people. The voters list is officially known as the Electoral Roll
- All citizens of age 18 years or above are eligible to vote and a voter aged 25 years or above is also eligible for contesting an election
- Nomination of candidates by political parties.
- Submission of nominations by candidates along with a security deposit.
- Campaigning of about two weeks.
- Polling on election day
The Indian government introduced the Election Photo Identity Card [EPIC] system. Every eligible voter on the list is issued a photo identity card. Carrying this EPIC is not mandatory. Instead, voters can provide proof of identity like ration card or driving license to exercise their right to vote. There is a common Code of Conduct for election campaigns, which all political parties in India have to follow.
What Makes Elections In India Democratic
During the election process, many political parties adopt unfair practices to get votes. No political party can win an election through such unfair practices.
India has a democratic election system. The election system in India is controlled and governed by an independent and very powerful body called the Election Commission (EC). The EC is headed by the Chief Election Commissioner, who is assisted by several Election Commissioners. The present Election Commissioner is Naveen Chawla.
The Election Commission of India performs several functions, starting from the announcement of the elections to the final declaration of the result.
It drafts and implements the Code of Conduct for elections and takes disciplinary action against parties violating it.
The Election Commission is authorized to advise the government on decisions affecting the election and control the transfer of government officials across departments and roles. The Election Commission also has the function of controling the work of government officials on election duty. The Election Commission has the power to order a re-poll in case it finds evidence of unfair practices during polling. The people’s participation can be measured through the voter turnout on polling day.
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