India has a multi-party system, where political parties are classified as national, state or regional level parties. The status of party is accorded by the Election Commission of India, and the same is reviewed occasionally. All parties are registered with the Election Commission.
A regional political party can become eligible to be recognised as a national party if it is able to fulfill any of the following terms:
As per article 53 (1) Of the constitution, the highest power is vested in the hands of The President of India. The President enjoys all constitutional powers and exercises them directly or through officers lower ranked than him. The President is to act in accordance with aid and advice tendered by the Prime Minister of India (head of government) and Council of Ministers (the cabinet) as described in Article 74 of the Indian Constitution.
Municipality Elections Nagar Palika is an urban local body that is in charge of administering smaller district cities and bigger towns with a population of 100,000 or more.
Elections to Nagar Panchayat also known as Notified Area Council,exist in urban centres with more than 11,000 and less than 25,000 inhabitants.
Elections to Zila Parishad or The District Council is an elected body whose members are elected on the basis of adult franchise for a term of five years. It needs to have a minimum of 50 members with a maximum limit being 75.
Village Panchayat Elections : It's mandatory for a village having a population of 500 to have a Gram Panchayat. Its members are elected by the villagers for a period of five years. The elections of the Gram Panchayat are conducted by state election commissioner in alliance with the District Collector and Tehsildar.
Election to Panchayat Samiti is composed of elected members of the area including the heads of the Gram Panchayats within the block area, the elected members of the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and the state legislature who belong to the block.
Universal Adult franchise gives all citizens of a country the right to vote without discrimination of religion, class, color or gender. It is based on the basic principle of democracy which is equality for all. To deny any person from exercising this free right to vote is violation of their right to equality.
General Elections are held every five years, for the selection of Members of Parliament. The MPs are the representative of people who are elected directly by the people on the basis of Universal Adult Suffrage. General Elections are conducted in the entire country in different phases. Once the elections have happened in all the states, the results are declared. The leader of the political party, which wins the national majority, is then selected to head the nation (Prime Minister of the country) to become the Chief Minister of the state.
Assembly Elections are held state wise in India every 5 years and in this the Indian electorates choose the members of the Vidhan Sabha (or Legislative Assembly). The elected members are called MLAs. The assembly elections are never carried out in same year across all states and union territories. The party which wins with majority can form government in the state. The majority party then elects a candidate who has contested election from the state
Any individual who is a citizen of the country and is above 18 years of age can vote in India.
Under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, Jammu & Kashmir is granted autonomy. It gives special status to the state: Because of this article, residents of Kashmir follow separate set of laws in terms of citizenship, property ownership, and other rights. Except finance, defence, communications, and foreign affairs, central government needs the state government's consensus for applying all other laws.
The first step towards being recognized as a political party is to get registered with the Election Commission of India. Registration is mandatory for a party, following which it can avail the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951
Once the results of legislative assembly elections are out and a political party or alliance gets a majority stake, the MLAs of the said party/coalition sit and elect a head for them, and then the Governor invites that leader to form the government.
The Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) have been introduced to bring in convenience in the electoral process and ensure flawless counting of votes. EVMs have proven to be a far better replacement for the old paper ballot system.
Outside support means supporting any political party which has a chance to get majority to form a government, but one provides outside support without taking any position/or actually joining that government.
The total strength of Lok Sabha in the first general election was 489.
Electors are citizens who are eligible to vote in India. They are of three main types or categories–
To be eligible to be registered as a general elector, the person has to be:
Form 6 is an application form issued by the Election Commission of India for Indian citizens who wish to register their names in the electoral roll. This form is generally filled and filed for the constituency within which the elector resides.
There are two ways of obtaining Form 6–
The website of Election Commission of India (www.eci.nic.in/) has the form in the PDF format. It can be easily downloaded and printed.
Form 6 is also available at the office of the Electoral Registration Officer or the assistant or the Booth Level Officer of the polling area where the elector resides. There is no charge for obtaining this form.
While filling out Form 6, the elector needs to submit it along with certain documents. Here is a list of required documents–
No, an election candidate cannot be a non-citizen of India. According to the Constitution, Article 84 (a), only a citizen of India can be chosen to fill up a seat in the Parliament. Same is true for State Legislative Assemblies, as per the provisions given in Article 173 (a) of the Indian Constitution.
Indian citizens living outside the country for work, education or any other reason are categorized as overseas (NRI) electors. Such non-resident Indians are qualified as electors only if they have not acquired any other country's citizenship.
There is a provision in the Representation of People Act, 1950 (Section 20A), which states that "An NRI settled in a foreign land can be an elector of electoral roll in India". The NRI must hold a valid Indian passport that mentions his/her place of residence in India.
No, voting in India is only limited to citizens of India. People holding citizenship of another country are not eligible to vote or register in the electoral rolls in India. People who were Indian citizens earlier, but now have acquired citizenship of another country are also not eligible.
Eligibility to be registered as a voter in India are as follows–
NOTA is the abbreviation for "None of the Above". It is a recent addition with the Election Commission of India. According to the Supreme Court judgment, dated 27th September 2013, the Electronic Voting Machines across India will have a "None of the Above" or NOTA option at the end of the list of candidates. This would allow voters, who do not consider any of the candidates eligible to still cast their votes.
VVPAT is an acronym for Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail system. It is a machine that generates a slip of paper after the voter casts his/her vote in the Electronic Voting Machine. The paper slip will show the symbol and candidate, the voter has cast his/her vote for.
No, a person confined in jail cannot vote in an election in India. As per the provisions given in the Representation of People Act, 1951, Section 62 (5), a person in prison, "under sentence of imprisonment or transportation or otherwise, or in the lawful custody of the police" is not eligible to cast his vote in an election.
A general candidate has to pay a security deposit of Rupees Twenty Five Thousand (Rs. 25,000) for Lok Sabha Election. Candidates belonging to the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) are eligible for concession of Rupees Twelve Thousand Five Hundred Only (Rs. 12,500). As for Assembly Elections, general candidates have to pay Rupees Ten Thousand Only (Rs. 10,000), and those belonging to SC/ST have to pay Rupees Five Thousand Only (Rs. 5,000).
Candidates who have been unable to obtain at least "one-sixth of the valid votes polled in the constituency" are not eligible to get their security deposits returned.
No, a candidate cannot spend any amount of money on his election campaign. The Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, Rule 90, mentions the maximum limit of election expenditure by a candidate. Exceeding the limit is considered a corrupt practice under section 123 (6) of the Representation of People Act, 1951.
No, voting more than once is against the law, even if a voter's name is registered mistakenly or wrongly in more than one place.
The penalty for a candidate who did not file his account of election expenses is disqualification from becoming a "member of either House of Parliament or Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council of a State" for a period of three years.
The procedure for political party registration is as follows –
The criteria for recognition of a political party in the State level is as follows-
The Election Commission of India is an autonomous organization under the Constitution of the country that was formed to ensure free and fair elections in the country. It takes on multiple roles for ensuring that elections are conducted without any error across every nook and corner of India. Here is a list of roles of the ECI–
The members of the State Legislative Assemblies who are elected by the people of India are responsible for electing Rajya Sabha members. The system of election is "of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote".