India is a democratic country. Elections in India play a very vital role in the country’s politics and its overall growth and development. In election, citizens of India exercise their power to vote and elect representatives of their choice.
Types of Elections in India
The major types of elections which are held in India are Presidential election, Lok Sabha (General Election), Rajya Sabha election, State Legislature election and local body election. The elections in which the public is directly involved are the General Elections in which Member of Parliament (MPs) are elected and State Legislature Assembly Election in which Member of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) are elected. From General Election and State Legislature Assembly Election, Prime Minister and Chief Minister of a State are elected.
General Elections are also known as Lok Sabha elections.
For an election, the whole country is divided into parts. Each part is called a constituency. Usually several candidates stand for election from a constituency. The person who wins the election becomes the representative of the people of that constituency.
Constituencies for a national election are bigger than for a state election. For example, Delhi has 7 constituencies for a national election but the same area has 70 constituencies for a state election.
A political party basically, is a group of people who come together to contest elections in order to hold power in the government. There are many political parties in India such as Indian National Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party, All India Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, AIADMK Party, etc. Each political parties has its own unique election symbol. Symbols of some political parties in India are given below:
Before an election political parties appoint their candidates from different constituency to stand in election. Through speeches in rallies, advertisements in newspaper and television, posters, etc. these political candidates ask the people to vote for them. These help people in deciding the candidate to which they would like to vote for.
The Election Commission
The Election Commission is an organisation made under the Constitution of India. Thus, it is an independent organisation not controlled by any government. The duty and responsibility of the Election Commission is to supervise each election and make sure that election are held in fair and transparent manner.
Who is eligible to vote in election held in India? A citizen of India who is 18 years old has the right to vote in an election. However, all citizens must first register as voters with the Election Commission. Each registered voter is given a unique voter ID card. The Election Commission prepares an electoral roll (voter list) that contains the names of all the registered voters.
The Election Commission announces the dates for the election and also laid down certain rules to be followed by the political parties and its candidates. It also announces the date on which the votes will be counted and result will be declared. It sets up several polling booth in each constituency where people can go to vote.
On election day, the Election Commission makes arrangements for security at the polling booth so that people can vote safely. For this purpose para military force or state police force were appointed by the Election Commission at polling booths.
How people vote in a polling booth? Polling booths have Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) hidden behind a screen that have the names and the election symbols of the candidates in that constituency. No one can see which candidate the voter has voted for. This is called a secret ballot.
Before a person votes, one of his finger is marked with an ink that cannot be rubbed off. To vote for a candidate of their choice voters press a button in the EVM next to the symbol of the chosen candidate.
Declaration of Results
On result date, the Election Commission organises the counting of votes and announces the results. The candidate who gets the most votes in a constituency is elected as the representative of the people of the constituency. After few days, the new Lok Sabha or the new Legislative Assembly meets. The members of the party which gets maximum votes are elected for a period of 5 years. This party chooses a leader amongst its members who will be the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister. This party forms the government. The members of the other parties forms the Opposition. The responsibility of the opposition party is to ask the ruling government questions about its policies.
What is the importance of Voting?
Before election, different political parties make several promises to the ordinary citizens of the country. Promises such as increase in employment, increase in wages, improving education facilities, launching new schemes for the upliftment of the poor, food subsidy, providing safety, etc. were made to the citizens of the country. Elected members face another election after 5 years. If they do not carry out the promises they made before election then people may not re-elect them. Thus, before next election, it is the responsibilities of the people to see whether their elected representatives fulfilled its promises and vote accordingly in the next election. This is what makes the people of a country powerful in a democracy.
In an election every single vote is important. Thus, a citizen of the country 18 years of age must registered their names with the Election Commission and exercise their vote in every election. A democratic system can only function well if the citizens of the country participate in it fully. Thus, citizens of the country must elect people whom they think will work for the development and prosperity of the country.
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