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Elections In India

Indian electoral system

The Parliament of India comprises the head of state — the president of India — and the two Houses which are the legislature. The President of India is elected for a five-year term by an electoral collegeconsisting of members of federal and state legislatures. Parliament of India has two chambers. TheHouse of the People (Lok Sabha) has 545 members, 543 members elected for a five-year term in single-seat constituencies and two members appointed to represent the Anglo-Indian community (as envisaged by the Constitution of India, as of now the members of Lok Sabha are 545, out of which 543 are elected for 5-year term and 2 members represent the Anglo-Indian community). The 550 members are elected under the plurality ('first past the post') electoral system.

Council of States (Rajya Sabha) has 245 members, 233 members elected for a six-year term, with one-third retiring every two years. The members are indirectly elected, this being achieved by the votes of legislators in the state and union (federal) territories. The elected members are chosen under the system of proportional representation by means of the Single Transferable Vote. The twelve nominated members are usually an eclectic mix of eminent artists (including actors), scientists, jurists, sportspersons, businessmen and journalists and common people.

 Election Commission

Elections in India are conducted by the Election Commission of India, the authority created under the Constitution. It is a well established convention that once the election process commences; no courts intervene until the results are declared by the election commission. During the elections, vast powers are assigned to the election commission to the extent that it can function as a civil court, if needed.

Electoral process

Electoral Process in India takes at least a month for state assembly elections with the duration increasing further for the General Elections. Publishing of electoral rolls is a key process that happens before the elections and is vital for the conduct of elections in India. The Indian Constitution sets the eligibility of an individual for voting. Any person who is a citizen of India and above 18 years of age is eligible to enroll as a voter in the electoral rolls. It is the responsibility of the eligible voters to enroll their names. Normally, voter registrations are allowed latest one week prior to the last date for nomination of candidates.

Pre elections

At first before the elections the dates of nomination, polling and counting takes place. The model code of conduct comes in force from the day the dates are announced. No party is allowed to use the government resources for campaigning. The code of conduct stipulates that campaigning be stopped 48 hours prior to polling day.

Voting day

Government schools and colleges are chosen as polling stations. The Collector of each district is in charge of polling. Government employees are employed to many of the polling stations. Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are being increasingly used instead of ballot boxes to prevent election fraud via booth capturing, which is heavily prevalent in certain parts of India. An indelible ink is applied usually on the left index finger of the voter as an indicator that the voter has cast his vote. This practice has been followed since the 1962 general elections to prevent bogus voting.

"None of the above" voting option

"None of the above" is a proposed voting option in India that would allow voters who support none of the candidates available to them to register an official vote of "none of the above", which is not currently allowed under India election regulation.[4] The Election Commission of India told the Supreme Court in 2009 that it wished to offer the voter a None of the above button on voting machines; the government, however, has generally opposed this option.[5]

Post elections

After the election day, the EVMs are stored in a strong room under heavy security. After the different phases of the elections are complete, a day is set to count the votes. The votes are tallied typically, the verdict is known within hours. The candidate who has mustered the most votes is declared the winner of the constituency.

The party or coalition that has won the most seats is invited by the President to form the new government. The coalition or party must prove its majority in the floor of the house (Lok Sabha) in a vote of confidence by obtaining a simple majority (minimum 50%) of the votes in the house.

 

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