Which of the following statements about the reasons for conducting elections are false?
- Elections enable people to judge the performance of the government.
- People select the representative of their choice in an election.
- Elections enable people to evaluate the performance of the judiciary.
- People can indicate which policies they prefer.
(c) Elections enable people to evaluate the performance of the judiciary.
Which of these is not a good reason to say that Indian elections are democratic?
- India has the largest number of voters in the world.
- India’s Election Commission is very powerful.
- In India, everyone above the age of 18 has a right to vote.
- In India, the losing parties accept the electoral verdict.
(a) India has the largest number of voters in the world.
Match the following:
- It is necessary to keep the voters list up-to- date because
- Some constituencies are reserved for SCs and STs so that
- Everyone has one and only one vote so that
- Party in power is not allowed to use government vehicles because
(1) (d), (2) (a), (3), (b), (4) (c).
List all the different election related activities mentioned in the chapter and arrange them
in a time sequence, beginning with the first activity and ending with the last. Some of
these activities are given below:
releasing election manifestos; counting of votes, making of voters’ list; election campaign; declaration of election results; casting of votes; ordering of re-poll; announcing election schedule; filing nomination.
(i) Delimitation of Constituencies (ii) List of Voters
(iii) Announcing election schedule (iv) Polling Stations are established
(v) Filing of Nomination Papers (vi) Withdrawal of Nominations
(vii) Scrutiny and objection (viii) Election Campaign
(ix) Election Manifesto (x) Polling (Casting of Votes)
(xi) Ordering of re-poll (xii) Counting of Votes
(xiii) Declaration of election results.
Surekha is an officer in-charge of ensuring free and fair elections in an assembly
a state. Describe what should she focus on for each of the following stages of election:
(a) Election campaign (b) Polling day (c) Counting day
(a) Surekha should see that all political parties and candidates are following the code of
during election campaign. She should focus that no candidate should bribe or threaten voters
and do not make use of government machinery for election campaign.
(b) On the polling day, Surekha should supervise that polling takes place peacefully. There should be no bogus voting or rigging of election. There should be no booth capturing. There should be one agent of each candidate in the polling booth. She should make sure that after the polling is over, all the EVMs are properly sealed and taken to a fixed place.
(c) On the counting day, seal of the EVMs should be checked and EVMs should be opened. Each party should have an agent present at the location. Surekha should supervise the counting of votes and the candidate getting the highest votes is declared elected.
The table given ahead gives the proportion of different communities among the candidates who
won elections to the US Congress. Compare these to the proportion of these communities in
the population of the US. Based on this, would you suggest a system of reservations in the
If yes, why and for which communities? If no, why not?
There is no reservation for any community in the American Congress. Reservation is, in fact, against the democratic principles. Democracy is based on the principle of equality. Every citizen enjoys one vote and every vote has equal value. Moreover, reservation for any community creates sense of disunity and factionalism. If representation is to be given in accordance with the percentage of the population then it is better to adopt proportional representation method.
Can we draw the following conclusions from the information given in this chapter? Give two
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) This statement is not true. Election Commission of India is very powerful.
(i) Election Commission supervises, directs and controls the elections. It is an independent and constitutional body.
(ii) The Election Commission is responsible to conduct free and fair elections. It has the power to reprimand the government and administration for their lapses.
(b) This statement is also not correct.
(i) Popular participation in the election in India is not very high.
(ii) In India, popular participation is generally about 59 per cent.
(c) The statement is not true.
(i) The ruling parties routinely lose elections in India both at the national and state levels.
(ii) For example, in 2004, the ruling party (National Democratic Alliance) lost the Lok Sabha Elections. In 2005, the ruling party in Haryana, National Lok Dal lost the Assembly elections to Congress.
(d) This statement is true because many reforms are needed to make our elections completely free and fair.
Chinappa was convicted for torturing his wife for dowry. Satbir was held guilty of practising untouchability. The court did not allow either of them to contest elections. Does this decision go against the principles of democratic elections?
This decision is not against the principles of democratic elections. Criminals should not be allowed to contest elections. The court has taken the right decision. The court order is in accordance with the provision of law.
Here are some reports of electoral malpractices from different parts of the world. Is there
that these countries can learn from India to improve their elections? What would you suggest
(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 Chaudhury 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) To check malpractices at the time of counting of votes, it is better to use EVMs. At the
counting of votes, each party or candidate should have one agent present at the
(b) To conduct free and fair election, a code of conduct should be framed. All political parties and candidates should follow the code of conduct strictly.
(c) In USA, there is a great need of uniformity in the procedure of election for all states. For this purpose, an independent Election Commission should be established. Election should be conducted by the Election Commission.
Here are some reports of malpractices in Indian elections. Identify what is the problem in
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 were not given due attention on 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 the meetings of other parties.
(a) The minister has violated the code of conduct. Hence, legal action should be taken
(b) There is misuse of government instruments such as Doordarshan and All India Radio. This malpractice can be checked by making Doordarshan and All India Radio autonomous bodies.
(c) All fake voters’ name should be removed from the electoral roll. Electoral roll should be thoroughly checked and revised and action should be taken against the officials concerned.
(d) Election Commission should check the hoodlums of the political party. Law and order should be maintained. Moreover, all political parties should have election meetings peacefully.
Ramesh 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
(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) Women should be given the right to vote because democracy is based on the principle of
Equality. Secondly, it is not essential that all women always vote the way men tell them to.
modern age, women are highly qualified and ambitious. They are playing very active and
role in politics.
(b) No doubt party politics creates tension in the locality, but still electoral competition is the best method to elect people’s representative. Electoral competition gives chance to the voters to elect the candidate of their choice.
(c) This statement is wrong because it is not in accordance with the democratic principles. Educational qualification is not relevant in politics. People’s representatives should have the ability to understand people’s problems and to represent their interests. Even if education is relevant, it should be left to the people. They should be the ultimate authority to decide their candidature.
Moreover, if only graduates are allowed to contest election then, more than 90 per cent of the citizens will not be eligible to contest elections. This is against the principle of equality on which democracy is based.
Jagdeep and Navpreet read this story and drew the following conclusions. Can you say which of
these are right or wrong (or if the information given in the story is inadequate to call
(i) Elections can lead to changes in the policy of the government.
(ii) The Governor invited Devi Lal to become the Chief Minister because he was impressed with his speeches.
(iii) People are unhappy with every ruling party and vote against it in the next election.
(iv) The party that wins the election forms the government.
(v) This election led to a lot of economic development in Haryana.
(vi) The Congress Chief Minister need not have resigned after his party lost elections.
(i) right (ii) wrong (iii) wrong (iv) right (v) right (vi) wrong
Identify the fair and the unfair electoral practices among the following:
A. A minister flags off a new train in his constituency a week before polling day.
B. A candidate promises that she will get a new train for her constituency if she is elected.
C. Supporters of a candidate take the voters to a temple and make them take an oath that they will vote for him.
D. The supporters of a candidate distribute blankets in slums in return for a promise for vote.
A, C and D are unfair electoral practices B is fair electoral practice.
Match the following features of our electoral system with the principles they reflect.
- Universal adult franchise
- Representation of weaker sections
- Open political competition
- One vote one value
1.-(b), 2.-(d), 3.-(c), 4.-(a)