Class 9 Civics

System of Elections in India

  • Electoral constituency
  • Reserved constituency
  • Voter's List
  • Nomination of candidates
  • Election campaign

Electoral Constituency

For parliamentary elections, the country is divided into more than 543 electoral constituencies. A constituency is usually made on the basis of population of a particular geographical area. Similarly, assembly constituencies are made in different states for the elections to the state assemblies. Voters in a constituency elect their representative.

Reserved Constituency

The constitution makers were of the opinion that people from the oppressed sections of the society should be given some leverage so that they could enhance their political representation. They made the provision for reserved constituencies for members of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. As on 1st September 2012, there are 84 seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes and 47 seats reserved for the Scheduled Tribes. Only the candidate from SC or ST can contest from these seats. But voters from all communities shall vote for the candidates in such constituencies. Now-a-days, reservation for OBCs (Other Backward Classes) is also given for elections to the local government bodies, like panchayats and municipalities. The percentage of reserved seats is same as the percentage of these communities in the population of India.

Voter's List

A list of all eligible voters is prepared for each constituency a few months before the elections. Voter’s list is updated from time to time to include the new voters and delete those who may have left the area or may have died. Voter's list is also called electoral roll.

Election Photo Identity Card

Once the voter's list is finalized, all the voters are expected to come to get election photo identity card or voter ID card. The provision for voter ID card has been made to prevent surrogate voting and bogus voting. But it is not necessary to carry your voter ID card to the polling booth. You can also carry any other valid ID proof, like driving license, ration card or PAN card.

Nomination of Candidates

Once the election dates are announced, the candidates need to file their nomination. When a candidate is selected by a political party as a candidate, it is usually known as party ticket. While filing the nomination, the candidate has to provide certain details and some security deposit. Some of the details required from the candidate are as follows:

  • Details of serious criminal cases pending against the candidate.
  • Details of assets and liabilities of the candidate and family members.
  • Educational qualification of the candidate.

Election Campaign

The candidates and political party conduct election campaign to educate the voters about their future programmes and policies. Political parties hold rallies, road-shows, mohalla sabhas, etc. They also spend on hoardings, advertising, banners, posters and pamphlets. Political parties usually try to focus the voters' attention on some big issues, like poverty alleviation, corruption, employment generation, provision for electricity, water, food, etc.

According to law, following activities are banned during election campaign:

  • Threatening or bribing the voters.
  • Asking for votes in the name of religion or caste.
  • Use of government resources in election campaign.
  • Spending more than Rs. 25 lakh in a Lok Sabha constituency and more than Rs. 10 lakh in an assembly constituency.

Note: In January 2022, the expenditure limit for Lok Sabha elections has been increased to Rs. 75 to 95 lakh (depending on states). The expenditure limit for assembly elections has been increased to Rs. 28 to 40 lakh. Ref: Election Commission Press Release