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(i) releasing election manifestos; 

(ii) counting of votes; 

(iii) making of voters’ list; 

(iv) election campaign; 

(v) declaration of election results; 

(vi) casting of votes;

(vii) ordering of re-poll; 

(viii) announcing election schedule; 

(ix) filing nomination.


The following is the sequence of election related activities :

(i) making of voters’ list

(ii) announcing election schedule

(iii) filing nomination

(iv) releasing election manifestos

(v) election campaign

(vi) casting of votes

(vii) ordering of re-poll

(viii) counting of votes

(ix) declaration of election results.


a. Election Campaign

b. Polling Day

c. Counting Day


a. Election Campaign
As an officer in-charge , Surekha, should regulate election campaigns to ensure that every political party and candidate gets a fair and equal chance to compete in the elections.

She should ensure that the following election laws are upheld:-

(i) Candidates cannot bribe or threaten voters.

(ii) Candidates cannot appeal to the voters in the name of caste or religion.

(iii) Candidates cannot use government resources for election campaign.

(iv) Candidates cannot spend more than Rs. 25 lakhs and Rs 10 lakhs , for a Lok Sabha and Assembly constituency, respectively.

(v) Candidates cannot use any place of worship for election propaganda.

b. Polling Day
As an officer in-charge , Surekha, should ensure that law and order is maintained in the country on the polling day.

(i) Free and fair polls should be conducted in all the polling booths.

(ii) Every one who wants to vote should be allowed to do so on his free will.

(iii) Voters should not be intimidated by any party or candidate.

(iv) Polling officers should ensure that there is no rigging or booth capturing.

(v) The identity of the voter should be verified.

c. Counting Day
As an officer in-charge , Surekha should make security arrangements at the counting centres.

(i) Security should be tight so that the counting is carried out in a free and fair manner.

(ii) Representatives of all the candidates should be present at the counting centres , so that mal practice does not take place.

( iii) The officer should be prepared to face any eventuality after the results are announced.


What are your views on cast based reservation system in USA ?
The system of reservation is necessary in the US. The representation of the different communities is not equal. While the population of the Blacks and Hispanics is 13 % their representation in the House of Representatives is only 8% and 5% respectively. The whites who comprise of only 70% have 86% representation in the House. Hence the system of reservation, were more seats are allotted to the Blacks and Hispanics, will be apt for the US.


Can we draw the following conclusions from the information given in this chapter? Give two facts to support your position for each of these.

a. Election Commission of India does not have enough powers to conduct free and fair elections in the country.

b. There is a high level of popular participation in the elections in our country.

c. It is very easy for the party in power to win an election.

d. Many reforms are needed to make our elections completely free and fair.


a. The Election Commission of India has enough powers to conduct free and fair elections in the country.

• The EC need not take the suggestions of the ruling party for the conduct of elections. It functions as an independent body.

• The EC has the authority to ensure that the ruling party follows the ‘Code of conduct’ during the election campaign, thus ensuring free and fair polls.

b. The level of popular participation in the elections in our country has increased
compared to other countries.

• The voter turnout has averaged between 55% and 60% in India and there is a constant increase in the percentage.
• The poor, illiterate and underprivileged people vote in greater proportion when compared to the rich and privileged sections.

c. It is not very easy for the Ruling party to always win the elections.

• As elections are held by the EC, which is an independent body, the ruling party does not have any advantages of being in power.

• The citizens are usually dissatisfied with the ruling party if they have not fulfilled their previous election manifesto.

d. Certain reforms would be welcome to make the elections completely free and fair.

• Reforms should be introduced to ensure that smaller parties and independent candidates do not suffer at the hands of bigger parties.

• Reforms are necessary to ensure that candidates with criminal connection do not participate in the elections.


Chinappa was convicted for torturing his wife for dowry. Satbir was held guilty of practicing untouchability. The court did not allow either of them to contest elections. Does this decision go against the principles of democratic elections?

Dowry harassment and practicing untouchability are not considered criminal activities. Only citizens who have been convicted for criminal activities can be barred from contesting elections.


Here are some reports of electoral malpractices from different parts of the world. Is there anything that these countries can learn from India to improve their elections? What would you suggest in each case?

a. During an election in Nigeria, the officer in charge of counting votes deliberately increased the votes of one candidate and declared him elected. The court later found out that more than five lakh votes cast for one candidate were counted in favour of another.
b. Just before elections in Fiji, a pamphlet was distributed warning voters that a vote for former Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry will lead to bloodshed. This was a threat to voters of Indian origin.

c. In the US, each state has its own method of voting, its own procedure of counting and its own authority for conducting elections. Authorities in the state of Florida took many controversial decisions that favoured Mr. Bush in the presidential elections in 2000. But no one could change those decisions.


a. According to the Election laws representatives of all the candidates who have contested the polls can be present in the counting centres. This ensures that mal practice does not take place. If any candidate feels that the counting has not been fair, and the Election Commission feels that the candidate is justified in his allegations , then the EC has the authority to order recounting. So, Nigeria, can adopt this law that in in force in India.

b. According to the Indian election law, no party or candidate can bribe or threaten voters. If Fiji were to follow this law it will be able to hold elections where the voters are not threatened .

c. India follows a uniform system of elections throughout the country. The election laws are the same every where in India. This ensures that the elections are fair and free. The US can change its present electoral pattern and bring about a common one , like in India. This will make sure that controversies do not arise.


Here are some reports of malpractices in Indian elections. Identify what the problem in each case is. What should be done to correct the situation?

a. Following the announcement of elections, the minister promised to provide financial aid to reopen the closed sugar mill.
b. Opposition parties alleged that their statements and campaign was not given due attention in Doordarshan and All India Radio.
c . An inquiry by the Election Commission showed that electoral rolls of a state contain name of 20 lakh fake voters.

d. The hoodlums of a political party were moving with guns, physically preventing supporters of other political parties to meet the voters and attacking meetings of other parties.


• According to the Indian Election laws a ‘ Code of conduct’ has to be followed by the candidates. The ‘code of conduct’ states that ‘once elections are announced, Ministers shall not lay foundation stones of any projects, take any big policy decisions or make any promises of providing public facilities. If any candidate does not follow the code of conduct the EC can punish the candidate.In this case the Minister’s candidature can made invalid.

• The EC must make sure that all Political Parties are given an equal opportunity in the government run electronic media like the Doordarshan and All India Radio, to conduct their propaganda.

• The introduction of voters’ ID, has ensured to a large extent that fake voters are eliminated. It is also essential that the voters list is updated regularly. The staff at the polling booths have to be very alert to ensure that bogus voting is not practised.

• As it is against the laws to threaten or prevent voters, the EC can arrest these anti-social elements as a precautionary measure. This will give voters the confidence to vote freely.


Arun was not in class when this chapter was being taught. He came the next day and repeated what he had heard from his father. Can you tell Ramesh what is wrong with these statements?

a. Women always vote the way men tell them to. So what is the point of giving them the right to vote?
b. Party politics creates tension in society. Elections should be decided by consensus not by competition.

c. Only graduates should be allowed to stand as candidates for elections.


a. It is not always the case that women vote the way men tell them to. Women are educated today and have their own views. Moreover the direction and guidance a person seeks to cast his or her vote is not related to the right to vote. Also there is no gender discrimination in voting rights.

b. Free elections, where the citizens decide as to who should rule them, is the very basis of a democracy. In a democracy, there is no possibility of a consensus in a general election. In spite of party politics candidates can be elected only through competition.

c. Many candidates who stand for elections are not graduates. If this was to be enforced then many citizens would be deprived of contesting the elections.

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