Topic outline

    • Electoral Politics

      Q43. How has the constitution ensured that the weaker sections of society also get representation in the Parliament and state assemblies?

      Ans. The constitution has ensured that the weaker sections of society also get representation in the Parliament and state assemblies through special system of reserved constituencies for the weaker sections. Some constituencies are reserved for people who belong to the Scheduled Castes [SC] and Scheduled Tribes [ST].


      Q44. Why do common people attach a lot of importance to elections?

      Ans. Common people in India attach a lot of importance to elections because:

      1. They feel that through elections they can bring pressure on political parties to adopt policies and programmes favourable to them. 

      2. They also feel that their vote matters in the way things are run in the country.


      Q45. How does our election law regulate campaigns?

      Ans. According to our election law, no party or candidate can:

      1. Bribe or threaten voters;

      2. Appeal to them in the name of caste or religion;

      3. Use government resources for election campaign; and

      4. Spend more than Rs. 25 lakh in a constituency for a Lok Sabha election or Rs. 10 lakh in a constituency in an Assembly election.


      Q46. Why reserved constituencies were created by the makers of the constitution?

      Ans. The Constitution makers were worried that in an open electoral competition, certain weaker sections may not stand a good chance to get elected to the Lok Sabha and the state Legislative Assemblies. They may not have the required resources, education and contacts to contest and win elections against others. So, the makers of our Constitution thought of a special system of reserved constituencies for the weaker sections.


      Q47. How has reservation system been extended to other weaker sections?

      Ans. This system of reservation was extended later to other weaker sections at the district and local level. In many states, seats in rural (panchayat) and urban (municipalities and corporations) local bodies are now reserved for Other Backward Classes (OBC) as well. Similarly, one-third of the seats are reserved in rural and urban local bodies for women candidates.


      Q48. What choices are given to a voter during election?


      What kind of choices does a voter make in an election?


      What are the choices generally a voter can make in an election?

      Ans. In an election the voters make many choices:

      1. They can choose who will make laws for them.

      2. They can choose who will form the government and take major decisions.

      3. They can choose the party whose policies will guide the government and law making.


      Q49. Are elections in India 'free and fair'?

      Ans. Yes, elections in India are free and fair because in our country elections are conducted by an independent and very powerful Election Commission (EC). It enjoys the same kind of independence that the judiciary enjoys. All the parties accept the outcome of the elections. Usually, the losing party does not accept the outcome if the election is rigged.


      Q50. What is Voters’ List? What is its significance?

      Ans. 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.

      This is an important step for it is linked to the first condition of a democratic election: everyone should get an equal opportunity to choose representatives.


      Q51. Write some of the important slogans given by different political parties in various elections.

      Ans. Slogans:

      1. The Congress party led by Indira Gandhi gave the slogan of Garibi Hatao (Remove poverty) in the Lok Sabha elections of 1971.

      2. Save Democracy was the slogan given by Janata Party in the next Lok Sabha election held in 1977.

      3. The Left Front used the slogan of Land to the Tiller in the West Bengal Assembly elections held in 1977.


      Q52. Write a short note on Election Photo Identity Card [EPIC].

      Ans. In the last few years a new system of Election Photo Identity Card [EPIC] has been introduced. The government has tried to give this card to every person on the voters list. The voters are required to carry this card when they go out to vote, so that no one can vote for someone else. But the card is not yet compulsory for voting. For voting, the voters can show many other proofs of identity like the ration card or the driving licence.


      Q53. How does a party file a nomination for its candidate?


      1. In order to be a candidate a person must be of 25 years of age.

      2. Political parties nominate their candidates who get the party symbol and support. Party’s nomination is often called party ‘ticket’.

      3. Every person who wishes to contest an election has to fill a ‘nomination form’ and give some money as ‘security deposit’.

      4. Every candidate has to make a legal declaration, giving full details of personal information.


      Q54. What is the importance of the election campaign?


      Do you think that election campaigns are necessary in a democracy? Why?


      Why are elections campaigns needed?

      Ans. Election campaign is very important for election because

      1. During this period the candidates contact their voters, political leaders address election meetings and political parties mobilise their supporters. 2. This is also the period when newspapers and television news are full of election related stories and debates.

      3. In election campaigns, political parties try to focus public attention on some big issues. They want to attract the public to that issue and get them to vote for their party on that basis.


      Q55. How elections are held in India?


      1. Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha (Assembly) elections are held regularly after every five years.

      2. After five years the term of all the elected representatives comes to an end. The Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha stands ‘dissolved’.

      3. Elections are held in all constituencies at the same time, either on the same day or within a few days. This is called a general election. 

      4. Sometimes election is held only for one constitutency to fill the vacancy caused by death or resignation of a member. This is called a by-election.