Electoral Politics

04 Electoral Politics

The democratic government is a body of representatives. These representatives are chosen through a system of regular, free and fair elections. The party or candidate receiving majority of votes in an election is declared a leader or representative of the voters.


Assembly Elections in Haryana

  • Haryana had been ruled by a Congress party led government since 1982.
  • So, the people voted for Chaudhary Devi Lal’s party in 1987 and they won 76 out of 90 seats in the State Assembly.
  • The newly elected MLAs elected Devi Lal as their leader and he became the new Chief Minister 3 days later.

What makes an election democratic?

  • The minimum conditions for a democratic election are:
    • Everyone is entitled to one vote and each vote has equal value.
    • Parties and candidates should contest elections freely and offer choice to voters.
    • Elections must be held regularly after every few years.
    • Candidates preferred by the people should be elected.
    • Elections should be conducted in a free and fair manner.

Is it good to have political competition?

  • Elections involve competitions among political parties and at the constituency level, it involves competition among candidates without which elections will become pointless.


  • In India, Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections are held after every five years after which it stands ‘dissolved’.

Electoral constituencies

  • India is divided into different areas, called electoral constituencies, for the purpose of elections.

Reserved Constituencies

  • In order to avoid any inequality and make the country more democratic, the Constitution makers reserved constituencies for the weaker section such as Schedule Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Voter’s list

  • In a democratic election, the list of those who are eligible to vote is prepared much before the election and given to everyone. This list is officially called the Electoral Roll and is commonly known as the Voters’ List.

Nomination of candidates

  • Party ticket is a political party’s nomination who gets the party symbol and support.

Educational qualifications for candidates

  • The relevant qualification for being an MLA or an MP is the ability to understand people’s concerns, problems and to represent their interests. Whether they can do so or not is examined by lakhs of examiners — their voters — after every five years.

Election campaign

  • Election campaigns are held to have a free and open discussion as to which candidate will make a better representative or which party will make a better government.

Polling and counting of votes

  • The voters ‘cast’ or ‘poll’ their votes in a nearby ‘polling booth’ on the Election Day.
  • The counting of votes are displayed all over media and within a few hours results are declared and a new government is formed.

Are the elections too expensive for our country?

  • A large amount of money is spent in conducting elections in India.
  • In Lok Sabha elections in 2014, the amount spent by parties and candidates was more than what the government spent.


Independent Election Commission

  • In India, elections are conducted by the Election Commission, which has the same independence as the judiciary.
  • It is impossible to remove him even if does not perform his duties well.

Popular participation

  • Besides knowing who conducts election, the quality of election process may be checked by calculating participation or voter turnout.

Acceptance of Election outcome

  • The final quality test of election is seen through the outcome which favours the powerful, if conducted by unfair means.

Challenges to free and fair elections

  • Political parties with lot of money enjoy advantage over smaller parties.
  • Parties with criminal connections may secure tickets from major parties.
  • Tickets may be given to a party member’s relative.
  • Ordinary citizens have limited choice if major parties are similar in policies and practice.

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