Election Process in India
Elections form the basis of country. The elections are the backbone of democracy where people voye and select their representatives themselves. A free and fair election is the requirement of every country and it is the responsibility of the Election commission and Electoral officers to ensure fair and impartial election
Elections are held in every stage i.e. state, local and national level. The major elections include LoK Sabha elections, Rajya Sabha elections, State Legislature Election and Presidential and Vice Presidential election.
LoK Sabha elections are held every five years. The Elections Commission of India regulates the functioning of Lok Sabha elections. The country is divided into two constituencies and each constituency selects a representative.
RajyaSabha elections or the Upper house election happens at regular interval with retirement of one-third of the members after every two year. The election of the upper house of the Parliament is through the Legislative Assembly of each state.Out of the maximum strength of 250 members, 238 are elected by the legislative assemblies and 12 are nominated by the President of India.
State Legislature Election or the election for the Vidhan Sabha is conducted in the same was as the elections in Lok Sabha. The candidates who filed their nominations for voting and are above 18 years vote for their representatives. Each legislative Assembly is formed for a five-year term following which all seats again go to the polls.
The President is indirectly elected by the electoral college consisting of elected members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and the legislative assemblies of each state of union territory. Before the President’s term is over, Presidential election is conducted. The Vice-President is elected by direct votes of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members
The Constitution lays down that after the completion of each census the allocation of seats in the Lok Sabha to States shall be readjusted. Similarly, the constituencies for elections to the legislative assemblies are also readjusted.
After the readjustment, the nomination filing of the candidates is done.The candidate of 25 years and above can file the nomination for Rajya Sabha. For Lok Sabha elections the minimum age is 30 years.There are certain rules that restricts the participation in either houses like a person of unsound mind, un-discharged insolvent and if he is not a citizen of India cannot be a representative in either house.
The returning officer carefully inspects the nomination papers and if there is any fault, the candidate is not allowed to file the nomination for six years. Each one filing the nomination for Lok Sabha or Legislative Assembly has to submit an amount of Rs10,000 or 5,000.The candidates of lower castes deposits half the amount.
As the nomination process is completed the parties issue the Election Manifesto. The election manifesto is a formal Statement of the Programme and objectives of a political party. The parties use public meetings, slogans and advertisement to attract voters. They create awareness among people and also take the advantages of electronic media to ask for more votes.
The election campaigns and meetings are stopped two days before the date of polling is announced.On the polling day the voters select vote for their representatives.The voter records his vote either by placing the seal-mark against the name of the candidate he wants to vote for or by pressing the button of the voting machine.
After the voting process is completed counting of votes is processed and the results are declared.After the polling has ended the ballot boxes or the voting machines are sealed and carried under custody to the counting stations. However there is no separate method of counting votes, they are done manually. The electoral official counts the votes and the candidate having the highest number of votes win.
The Constitution had originally provided for the appointment of Election Tribunals for deciding disputes arising in connection with elections. The Nineteenth Amendment Act (1966) abolished this provision and laid down that the election disputes would be decided by the High Courts.