Election System In India

Types of Elections in India

Following are the major types of elections in the country:

  1. Elections to Lok Sabha
  2. Elections to Rajya Sabha
  3. Elections to State Assemblies
  4. Elections to Legislative Council
  5. Elections to the posts of President,Vice-President,Prime Minister and Chief Minister
  6. Elections to Local Bodies
    • Municipal Corporation
    • Gram Panchayat Elections
    • Zila Panchayat Elections
    • Block Panchayat Elections

Right to Vote

The Constituent Assembly adopted the principle of universal adult franchise as the main method of democratic representation in the Lok Sabha and in the State Legislative Assemblies. The original Article 325, providing for adult suffrage fixed the age of eligibility to vote for elections to the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas, at 21 years, but by the 62nd Amendment to this clause passed in 1989, it has been reduced to 18 years. It is the fundamental right of any voter under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution of India to know about the candidates they are to vote for. The right includes information of the assets and liabilities as well as criminal past of the candidate. If a person representing himself to be a particular elector seeks to vote after another person has already voted as such elector, he shall, on satisfactorily answering such questions related to his identity supplied with a tender ballot paper which shall be of such design  and the particulars of which shall be in such language as the Election Commission may specify.

Election Process in India

In an election, various candidates of different parties contest against each other, out of which the people elect their representative. The stages of the election process of India include delimitation of constituencies wherein the entire area (the whole country in the case of Lok Sabha elections and that particular state in the case of Legislative Assembly elections) is divided into constituencies. After the demarcation of constituency, the voters’ list of each constituency is prepared and published and nomination papers are filed by the candidates. Thereafter, nomination papers are scrutinised. The next stage is the campaign by all the candidates and the parties. The election campaign ends 48 hours before the polling. The last step is the counting of votes and declaration of result.

Political Parties in India

A political party is a group of people who want to achieve common goals by contesting elections and exercising political power upon winning. India has a multi-party system. Some of the major political parties in India are: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress, Bahujan Samaj party (BSP), Samajwadi Party, Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), National Congress Party (NCP), Janata Dal United (JDU) and Shiv Sena. There are also various regional parties in India.