India is the largest democracy of the world with Westminster parliamentary system in place. It has a federal government at the center with 29 states having their own elected governments. There are also elected representatives at the local levels with municipal corporations and Panchayati Raj system in place. India is a democratic Republic where people elect their representatives who make policies and these policies are implemented with the help of a strong bureaucracy. So, what is the election process in India and how election is conducted in India? Read on to learn the election process in India.
Election process in India pits candidates of different political parties and independents against each other. Elections in India are conducted at three levels with the highest level being General Elections that are held every five years to elect members of parliament. The party or alliance that wins majority in the 545 member Lower House or the Lok Sabha gets a chance to form a government. The leader of this political party or alliance becomes the Prime Minister, and he chooses his council of ministers from the elected representatives of his party or alliance.
India is divided into 545 constituencies
Lok Sabha election process is simple with the country divided into 545 constituencies from where candidates can stand. Elections are held in all 545 constituencies and political parties field their candidates. These candidates compete against each other and people vote for the candidate of their liking depending upon the image of the party and the personal image of the candidate. The candidate who polls the maximum number of votes in his constituency is declared the winner, and he becomes the MP or the representative of that constituency. There is another integral part of parliament known as Rajya Sabha or the Upper House. There are 245 seats in this house, but the members are not elected directly by the people. These members of parliament are elected by the members of legislative assemblies and legislative councils in various states. The President of India nominates 12 members of Rajya Sabha. These nominated members come from various walks of life, and they are mostly famous people who have contributed significantly towards the society.
The election process in India
The responsibility of conducting free and fair elections in India has been given to Election Commission which is a statutory body. Once Election Commission notifies the dates of election, candidates can file their nomination papers and start campaigning for themselves. Voting process in India is based upon adult suffrage which means that all people over the age of 18 are eligible to cast their vote. If you are a citizen of India, over the age of 18, and a resident of a constituency, you can cast your vote. Election booths are set up, and people go to their nearest polling station to cast their vote for their favorite candidate. Electronic Voting machines are used for the purpose of casting a vote. Names of candidates and the symbols allotted to them are printed on this machine and you have to press the button against the name of the candidate of your liking.
The election process in India- In States
The process of election to the state legislative assemblies is similar to Lok Sabha election process. Candidates of different political parties in the state and independents stand in different constituencies of the state and the winners become MLA’s or members of Legislative Assemblies. The political party that wins the majority of seats in the state assembly gets a chance to form a government with the leader of that party becoming the Chief Minister of that state.