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Challenges to Free and Fair Elections

Elections in India are basically free and fair. The party that wins an election and forms government does so because people have chosen it over its rivals.

This may not be true for every constituency. A few candidates may win purely on the basis of money power and unfair means. But the overall verdict of a general election still reflects popular preference.

There are very few exceptions to this rule in the last fifty years in our country. This is what makes Indian elections democratic.

Candidates and parties with a lot of money may not be sure of their victory but they do enjoy a big and unfair advantage over smaller parties and independents.

Big Parties VS Small Parties and Independent Candidates

  • In some parts of the country, candidates with criminal connections have been able to push others out of the electoral race and secure a 'ticket' from major parties.
  • Some families tend to dominate political parties; tickets are distributed to relatives from these families.
  • Very often elections offer little choice to ordinary citizens, for both the major parties are quite similar to each other both in policies and practice.
  • Smaller parties and independent candidates suffer a huge disadvantage compared to bigger parties because of lack of finance.

These challenges exist not just in India but also in many established democracies.

Citizens, social activists and organisations are demanding reforms in our electoral system, to eliminate the few draw-backs and make it perfect for the future.

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