NCERT Folder 9th Civics Chapter 3 : Electoral Politics

Political Science

Class 9

Chapter 3

Electoral Politics

Revision Notes

Important Terms

  • Election : The process by which people choose their representatives at regular intervals is known as election.
  • Constituency : A particular area from where voters elect a representative to the Lok Sabha / Vidhan Sabha.
  • Electorate : It refers to the entire body of people who are qualified to vote in the elections for the legislatures or local bodies.
  • Franchise : It refers to the right of people to vote and elect their representatives to make laws.
  • General elections : Elections held after the term of 5 years of Lok Sabha are called general elections.
  • Mid Term election : Sometimes, the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha are dissolved and an election is held before the expiry of their full term of five years. Such an election is called a mid-term election.
  • By-election : An election may need to be held for a single constituency, due to the untimely death or resignation of an elected member. The election carried out to fill this vacancy is known as a by-election.
  • Universal adult franchise : In our country, all the citizens who are 18 years and above can vote in an election.
  • Campaigning : It refers to a process by which a candidate tries to persuade the voter to vote for him rather than for others.
  • Election photo identity Card : The voters are required to carry this card when they go out to vote.
  • Voter’s list : List of those who are eligible to vote, that is prepared before the election.
  • Electoral roll : Voter’s list is also known as Electoral Roll.
  • Election manifesto : A document published by every political party before elections containing the policies and programmes of that party.
  • Electronic voting machine : A device used to record votes on an election day.
  • Ballot paper : A sheet on which the names of the candidates along with the party name and symbols are listed.
  • Election day : The day when the voters cast or poll their vote is usually called the election day.
  • Code of conduct : A set of norms and guidelines to be followed by political parties and contesting candidates during the election time.
  • Incumbent : The current holder of a political office.
  • Impersonation : An electoral malpractice in which a person assumes the identity of another for unlawful purposes is called impersonation.
  • Election Commission : A parliamentary body constituted to conduct free and fair elections in the country.

Summary

Importance Of Democratic Institutions And Political Competition

  • In a democratic country, everyone has an equal right to vote, different parties and candidates contest freely and the voters have the right to choose their representative at regular intervals. Democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people.
  • The process by which people choose their representatives at regular intervals is known as election. The process of election in democratic countries differs from that of nondemocratic countries. In a democratic election, the preferred contestant is elected. The elections are carried out in a free and fair manner.
  • What Makes an Election Democratic?
    • Everyone should be able to choose his/her representative, i.e., everyone should have one vote and every vote should have equal value. This is termed as universal adult franchise.
    • There should be parties and candidates to choose from, freedom to contest and a wide choice for people.
    • Elections must be held at regular intervals.
    • Candidate preferred by the people should be elected.
    • Elections should be held in a fair and free atmosphere.
  • Political Competition : Demerits
    • Creates a sense of disunity and ‘party politics’.
    • Parties level allegations against each other by using dirty tricks to win elections.
    • Long-term policies cannot be formulated.
    • Good people do not enter politics.
    • Merits: Elections are good because they force the ruling party to perform. The government is aware that it will be voted out of power if it does not perform as the people expected.
    • It forces parties and leaders to serve the people, so competition is good.

System Of Elections In India

  • An election is carried out every five years to the Lok Sabha or the Vidhan Sabha, it is known as a general election.
  • Sometimes, the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha are dissolved and an election is held before the expiry of their full term of five years. Such an election is called a mid-term election. An election may need to be held for a single constituency, due to the untimely death or resignation of an elected member. The election carried out to fill this vacancy is known as a by-election.
  • The Indian election law provides that :
    • Political parties or candidates cannot bribe or threaten voters.
    • They cannot ask for votes on the grounds of caste or religion.
    • They cannot make use of government resources or places of worship for campaigning.
    • They cannot spend more than Rs. 25 lakh per constituency for a Lok Sabha election or more than Rs. 10 lakh per constituency in an assembly election.
  • The Indian Constitution provides equal rights of representation to all the citizens of India.
    • The Election system in India consists of the following stages :
      • Delimitation of constituencies.
      • Reserved constituencies for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and also Other Backward Classes and women.
      • Prepare a list of the eligible voters and distribute it among the people. The voter’s list is officially known as the Electoral Roll.
      • All citizens of age 18 years or above are eligible to vote and a voter aged 25 years or above is also eligible for contesting an election.
      • Nomination of candidates by political parties.
      • Submission of nominations by candidates along with a security deposit.
      • Campaigning for about two weeks.
      • Polling on election day.
    • The Indian Government has introduced the Election Photo Identity Card [EPIC] system. Every eligible voter on the list is issued a Photo Identity Card. Carrying this EPIC is not mandatory. Instead, voters can provide proof of identity like ration card or driving license to exercise their right to vote.
    • There is a common Code of Conduct for election campaigns, which all political parties in India have to follow.

What Makes The Election In India Democratic?

  • During the election process, many political parties adopt unfair practices to get votes. No political party can win an election through such unfair practices.
  • India has a democratic election system. The election system in India is controlled and governed by an independent and very powerful body called the Election Commission (EC). The EC is headed by the Chief Election Commissioner, who is assisted by several Election Commissioners. The present Election Commissioner is Nasim Zaidi.
  • The Election Commission of India performs several functions, starting from the announcement of the elections to the final declaration of the result.
  • It drafts and implements the Code of Conduct for elections and takes disciplinary action against parties violating it.
  • The Election Commission is authorized to advise the government on decisions affecting the election and control the transfer of government officials. The Election Commission also has the function of controlling the work of government officials on election duty. The Election Commission has the power to order a re-poll in case it finds evidence of unfair practices during polling.
  • The people’s participation can be measured through the voter turnout on polling day.

Intext Questions

Question.1. We have seen why democracies need to have elections. But why do rulers in nondemocratic countries need to hold elections?
Answer. They need to hold elections to make people believe they are ruling by popular vote and have the people behind them. But in non-democratic countries elections are not free or fair (as in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe) or allow every one to vote (as in China). You have to be a member of the Chinese Communist Party to be able to vote.

Question.2. Ah! So, elections are like exams where politicians and parties know if they have passed or failed. But who are the examiners?
Answer. The examiners in this case are the voters, who give them marks in the form of votes.

Question.3. Do most leaders fulfil their election promises?
Answer. During elections most of the leaders make many big promises to the people (voters) to win their support and vote. However, after the elections, the political leaders forget their promises and most of them do not fulfil their election promises.

Question.4. 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 them right or wrong):intext-civics-9th-chap-03-q1

  1. Elections can lead to changes in the policy of the government
  2. The Governor invited Devi Lal to become the Chief Minister because he was impressed with his speeches.
  3. People are unhappy with every ruling party and vote against it in the next election.
  4. The party that wins the election forms the government.
  5. This election led to a lot of economic development in Haryana.
  6. The Congress Chief Minister need not have resigned after his party lost elections.

Answer.

  1. Right
  2. Wrong – It is because the newly elected Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) of Lok Dal chose Devi Lal as their leader.
  3. Wrong – People vote against a ruling party only when they are unhappy with it.
    Right
  4. Inadequate information
  5. Wrong – The Chief Minister has to resign if his party looses the election.

Question.5. Do you know when the last Assembly election was held in your state? Which other elections have taken place in your locality in the last five years? Write down the level of elections (National, Assembly, Panchayat, etc.), when were they held and the name and designation (MP, MLA, etc.) of the persons who got elected from your area.
Answer.

  • My state is Andhra Pradesh. Recent assembly elections were held in April 2019, where the YSR Congress Party chief Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy, the incumbent Telugu Desam Party’s Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Jana Sena Party chief Pawan Kalyan with his alliance between Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Bahujan Samaj Party were the main contenders. Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party won the polls by winning 151 seats out of 175 seats, securing almost 86% of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
  • General Elections were held in Andhra Pradesh on 11 April 2019 to elect representatives for 17th Lok Sabha. Andhra Pradesh has 25 Lok Sabha constituencies all of which voted in the first phase on the General election 2019 on April 11. The state witnessed an intense battle between the N Chandrababu Naidu led-Telugu Desam Party (TDP), YSR Congress Party of YS Jaganmohan Reddy, actor Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party, Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). YSRCP had won 22 seats, and TDP 3.
  • Elections to local bodies in Andhra Pradesh took place in four phases in rural areas (panchayats) in February 2021 viz. 9 February 2021, 13 February 2021, 17 February 2021 and 21 February 2021 covering 13 districts. In the first phase, 29,732 polling stations were set up.
  • Urban local body elections to 12 municipal corporations and 75 municipal and town councils held in April. Persons elected from my area.
  • M.P. – Pocha Brahmananda Reddy from Nandyal Constituency.
  • M.L.A.- Gangula Brijendra Reddy from Allagadda.
  • Mayor- B.Y. Ramaiah.
  • Z.P.T.C. Chairman – Rajasekhar
  • M.P.T.C. Chairman – Y. Raju
  • Sarpanch – M. Gopala Krishna.

Question.6. Read these two cartoons carefully. Write the message of each of them in your own words. Have a discussion in class on which of the two is closer to the reality in your own locality. Draw a cartoon to depict what elections do to the relationship between voters and political leaders?intext-civics-9th-chap-03-q2Answer.

  1. The cartoon shown on the left gives the message that the knowledge, ideas, planning and promises of a candidate are useless if he/she does not have enough votes to win. Voting power is only with the common man, who is the decisive factor for an election.
  2. The cartoon shown on the right gives the message that during an election campaign a candidate makes plenty of promises but he is unable to fulfil all of them. As a result electorates chase him to fulfil his promises.
    Second one is closer to the scenario in our locality.

Question.7. Why is the boundary of the Gulbarga Lok Sabha constituency not the same as the district boundary of Gulbarga (Kalaburagi)? Draw a similar map for your own Lok Sabha constituency?intext-civics-9th-chap-03-q3Answer. The boundary of the Gulbarga Lok Sabha Constituency is not the same as the district boundary of Gulbarga because:

  1. The entire state of Karnataka is divided into equal Lok Sabha constituencies on the basis of population.
  2. The total area of Gulbarga district is 16,224 sq km and it is the largest district in Karnataka. The population of Gulbarga district is 25,64,892 (census 2011). The whole Gulbarga district’s population is more than that allotted for each Lok Sabha constituency in the state. That is why both the boundaries are not the same.

I am from Gulbarga lok sabha constituency so the above shown map is illustrates the question.

Question.8. How many Assembly constituencies are there in the Gulbarga Lok Sabha constituency? Is it the same in your own Lok Sabha constituency?
Answer. There are 8 Assembly constituencies in the Gulbarga Lok Sabha Constituency.

Question.9. Like in Panchayats, should we not have at least one-third seats in the parliament and assemblies reserved for women?
Answer. One-third of the seats are reserved for women in the Panchayats, but unfortunately even today representation of women in the State Assemblies and Parliament is very low. The women constitute 50 per cent of our society, so, we need to reserve at least one-third seats in the Assemblies and the Parliament for women. This helps them to uplift their status in society.

Question.10. See the map below and answer the following questions.intext-civics-9th-chap-03-q4

  1. What is the number of Lok Sabha constituencies in your state and the neighbouring two states?
  2. Which states have more than 30 Lok Sabha constituencies?
  3. Why do some states have such a large number of constituencies?
  4. Why are some constituencies small in area while others are very big?
  5. Are the constituencies reserved for the SCs and STs evenly spread all over the entire country or are there more in some areas?

Answer.

  1. My state is Andhra Pradesh. Number of lok sabha constituencies are 25 my neighbouring states are Tamilnadu: 39 and Telangana: 17
  2. The states which have more than 30 Lok Sabha constituencies are Bihar, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal.
  3. Some states have large number of constituencies because of their population. Here, voters are in large numbers.
  4. The coverage of each constituency is fixed of the basis of number of the voters. The area does not matter. If a smaller area has equal number of voters as a big area, both will be treated as constituencies.
  5. The constituencies are reserved for the SCs and STs on the basis of the distribution of their population. So, the constituencies reserved, for the SCs and STs are not evenly spread all over the entire country, but are more in some areas.

Question.11. Why are the candidates required to give a detailed statement of their property?
Answer. Candidates are required to give a detailed statement of their property at the time of election because the Election Commission is trying to control the misuse of money power in elections. The candidate has to give information about his assets movable and immovable, debts to financial institutions, tax status, income and wealth. Secondly with this information the voters will be able to know more about the candidates and make their own choices.

Question.12. Match the following features of our electoral system with the principles they reflect.intext-civics-9th-chap-03-q5Answer.

Principles Features of Election System
(i) Universal adult Franchise right to voteEveryone who is 18 years of age or older has right to vote.
(ii) Representation of weakerReservation of seats for the SCs and STs sections
(iii) Open political competition Anyone can form a party or contest elections
(iv) One vote one valueEach constituency has roughly the same Population

Question.13. How was the election campaign in your constituency in the last Lok Sabha elections? Prepare a list of what the candidates and parties said and did.
Answer. Just like any other election that is conducted over the years, contestants compete for political positions. They have to put their ideals on the table, they have to tell people what they will do once they are elected into the positions they want to. Most politicians promise the public that they will provide the social amenities without any biasness. They claim that they will provide clean water to the people, clean environment, increase in worker wages etc. In my constituency, 4 major political parties campaigned for winning elections. They formed huge rallies and gathered many people and promised many things to do. Let’s see what have promised.

  1. Y.S.R.C.P.
    Jagan Mohan Reddy lead the party and he visited many times to my place and spoke very closely to all people.
    Promises:
    Giving cheap loans to farmers Encouragement to women Self Help Groups
    Educational encouragement to all poor people
    New jobs for the unemployed people
    Pension hike to elders
    Liquor ban
  2. T.D.P.
    Shri Nara Chandra Babu Naidu lead this party and he’s very experienced person and he was our C.M. for twice earlier.
    Promises: Giving free power to farmers in cultivation
    Ending water disputes with neighbouring states Improving I.T. sector in our state
    New Roads in remote areas
    Repairing the old bridges in our locality
  3. Jana Sena Party
    It was lead by cinema actor Pawan Kalyan and He recently formed the party and campaigned a lot to win the elections
    Promises: Youth should be focused
    Old people should be healthy
    Fight the corruption
    Children are given the value education
  4. B.J.P.
    Hari Narayan lead this party in our constituency and he was very old man. He roamed to all places and spoke with many people.
    Promises: Rejuvenation of old public buildings in our locality
    Free Education to all eligible people
    Rented farmers are given importance too
    Ending the corruption in public domain

Finally Y.S.R.C.P. won the election with clear cut majority and it is fulfilling all its promises very enthusiastically.

Question.14. Draw a cartoon here about the Model Code of Conduct for the guidance of political parties and candidates during elections.
Answer. Do it yourself.

Question.15.intext-civics-9th-chap-03-q6
Answer. Yes, Elections have become very expensive and year by year their cost has been increasing. For a developing country like India it’s huge burden. With so much poverty and many dying out of hunger it’s really a problem-some. But elections are very important for democracy to check on the corruptive leaders and for all good. So we must go with a reasonable cost of elections and its responsibility lies not only on Election Commission but also on all people of India.

Question.16.intext-civics-9th-chap-03-q7(A) What is the percentage of voters who had actually cast their votes?
Answer. 50.82 per cent of total voters cast their own votes.

(B) To win an election is it necessary for a person to secure more than half the votes polled?
Answer. To win an election, it is not necessary for a person to secure more than half the votes polled, because the candidate who secures the highest number of votes from a constituency is declared elected.

Question.17. Why are party agents present in the polling booth and the counting centre?
Answer. Party agents are present in the polling booth to ensure that the voting takes place in a fair way and the rival candidates are not able to adopt any unfair practices. They are also present in the counting centres to ensure that the counting is done properly without any unfair means.

Question.18.intext-civics-9th-chap-03-q8

Answer.
(i) Unfair electoral practice
(ii) Fair electoral practice
(iii) Unfair electoral practice
(iv)Unfair electoral practice.

Question.19. Why does the Election Commission have so much power? Is this good for democracy?
Answer. The Election Commission in India is very powerful so that it is able to perform its functions in a proper manner and efficiently. Yes, this is good for democracy. Because only a powerful and independent Election Commission can ensure free and fair elections by preventing malpractices and unfair means in the elections.

Question.20. Read these headlines carefully and identify which powers are used by the Election Commission in each instance to ensure free and fair elections.
Answer.

  1. Election Commission takes decisions on every aspect of conduct and control of elections, from the announcement of elections to the declaration of results.
  2. Election Commission regulates campaigns to ensure that every political party or candidate gets a fair and equal chance to complete. It also ensures that no party or candidate can spend more than Rs. 77 lakhs for election in a Lok Sabha constituency and Rs 30.6 lakhs for election in an Assembly constituency as per a gazette notification released by Election Commission of India on October 20, 2020.
  3. During the election period, the Election Commission can order the government to follow some guide lines, to prevent use and misuse of governmental power to enhance its chances to win elections, or to transfer some government officials.
  4. Election Commission takes decisions on every aspect of conduct and control of elections.
  5. Election Commission enjoys the same kind of independence that the judiciary enjoys. It is not supposed to work on the advice of the Home Minister. During the election period, the Election commission can order the government to follow some guidelines, to prevent use and misuse of the governmental power to enhance its chances to win elections, or to transfer some government officials.
  6. Election Commission takes decisions on every aspect of elections and control of elections from the announcement of elections to the declaration of results. It also includes the powers relating to the identification of the voters.
  7. During the election period, the Election Commission can order the government to follow some guidelines, to prevent use and misuse of governmental power to enhance its chances to win elections, or to transfer some government officials.
  8. Election Commission implements the code of conduct and punishes any candidate or party that violates it.
  9. Election Commission takes decisions on every aspect of conduct and control of elections from the announcement of elections to the declaration of results. It also includes power regarding the control of the Exit Polls.
  10. Election Commission takes decisions on every aspect of conduct and control of elections from the announcement of elections and order to repoll to the declaration of results.
  11. It implements election laws and the code of conduct and punishes any candidate or party that violates it. Thus, every party or candidate can get a fair and equal chance to compete.

Question.21. Ask the eligible voters in your family whether they voted in the last election to the Lok Sabha or to the state assembly. If they did not, ask them why did they not vote. If they did, ask them which party and candidate they voted for and why. Also ask them whether they had participated in any other election-related activity like attending an election meeting or rally etc.
Answer. Elders in our family voted for Y.S.R.C.P. in both Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. The reason they said is it’s a party of farmers and it has promised many things related to farming like cheap loans for next crops, pension hike, Encouragement to women S.H.G’S . And it has also promised for construction of the bridge to our village.
My Uncle participated in election campaigning of the parties. He said that Leaders speak voraciously and attract with their Charismatic ability and spend money like water during Elections. They made many promises to lure the voters. They abused the other parties.

Question.22. The leader is coming out of a press conference: “What was the need to say that we have distributed tickets only amongst suitable and winnable family relations?” Do you think that family politics is confined to only a few states or parties?
Answer. Family politics on Dynastic politics is not a new phenomenon in Indian politics, but it has become an increasingly wide reaching one in recent times. It is more or less found in each and every state and party in India. Almost every political party in India has leaders whose sons and daughters have entered politics, most of them without much political experience.

Question.23. Titled ‘Electoral Campaigns’, this cartoon was drawn in the Latin American context. Does this apply to India and to other democracies in the world?
Answer. Yes, this cartoon can be applicable to India and other democracies of the world. Now-a-days, candidates who spend a lot of money on ‘buying votes’ often win the election. Although the Election Commission has specified the amount of money to be spent for both Parliamentary and Assembly elections, but there is always excessive use of money by the rich candidates and big parties. This cartoon suggests the misuse of money power in Parliamentary democracy.

Question.24. Is this an accurate picture of what happens to the voter before and after elections? Must this always happen in a democracy? Can you think of examples when this did not happen?
Answer.

  1. Yes, this is an accurate picture of what happens to the voter before and after election.
  2. No, not always, but most of the time it happens in a democracy. Before election, the candidate tries to appease the voters by false promises. After the election, the elected leader forgets the demands of the common man.
  3. No, I cannot think of examples when this did not happen.

Question.25. Here are some facts on Indian elections. Comment on each of these to say whether they reflect the strength or the weakness of our electoral system:

  1. The 16th Lok Sabha has 12 per cent women members.
  2. The Election Commission often refuses to accept the government’s advice about when the elections should be held.
  3. The 16th Lok Sabha has more than 440 members whose assets are more than Rs.1 crore.
  4. After losing an election the Chief Minister said: “I respect the people’s verdict”.

Answer.

  1. It is the weakness of our electoral system which sends only 12 per cent women members to the Lok Sabha while the population of women is nearly 50 per cent of the total population.
  2. It is the strength of our electoral system which has given the power to the Election Commission to refuse or to accept the advice of the ruling party about the election dates.
  3. This is the weakness of our electoral system which does not give equal chance to both poor and rich. Those candidates, who are rich, have a better chance of winning than the poor in our country.
  4. This is the strength of our electoral system which enjoys the faith of both the defeated and winning candidates. Barring very few disputed elections, the electoral outcomes are usually accepted as ‘people’s verdict’ by the defeated party.

NCERT Solution

Question.1. Which of the following statements about the reasons for conducting elections are false?
(a) Elections enable people to judge the performance of the government.
(b) People select the representative of their choice in an election.
(c) Elections enable people to evaluate the performance of the judiciary.
(d) People can indicate which policies they prefer.
Answer. a and c

Question.2. Which of these is not a good reason to say that Indian elections are democratic?
(a) India has the largest number of voters in the world.
(b) India’s Election Commission is very powerful.
(c) In India, everyone above the age of 18 has a right to vote.
(d) In India, the losing parties accept the electoral verdict.
Answer. (a) India has the largest number of voters in the world.

Question.3. Match the following :

Column AColumn B
(a) It is necessary to keep the voters list up to date because (i) there is a fair representation of all sections of our society
(b) Some constituencies are reserved for SCs and STs so that (ii) everyone has equal opportunity to elect their representative
(c) Everyone has one and only one vote so that (iii) all candidates must have a fair chance of competing in elections
(d) Party in power is not allowed to use government vehicles because (iv) some people may have moved away from the area where they voted last

Answer. (a) — (iv), (b) — (i), (c) — (ii), (d) — (iii)

Question.4. 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.
Answer.
1st step : Making of voters list
2nd step : Announcing election schedule
3rd step : Division of areas into constituencies
4th step : Filing of nominations
5th step : Parties present their manifestoes
6th step : Election campaign
7th step : Polling day : casting of votes
8th step : Ordering Repoll
9th step : Counting – declaration of election results.

Question.5. Surekha is an officer in-charge of ensuring free and fair elections in an assembly constituency in 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
Answer. (a) Surekha should ensure that following unfair means are not used in the campaign by the parties:
(i) Misusing government vehicles, machinery or resources.
(ii) Using any place of worship for election campaign.
(iii) Spending more than the expenditure limit allowed for an election campaign in a constituency.
(iv) Appeal in the name of religion or caste
(v) Ministers shall not lay foundation stones of any projects, take any big policy decisions or make any promises of providing public facilities once elections are announced. In short, to see that ‘Code of Conduct’ is not violated.
(b) Polling Day : There is no campaigning done. All campaigning should stop 36 hours before actual polling starts. No bribing or buying of voters. No rigging. Only voters in the voters list allowed to vote. Identities should be checked. Every voter votes only once, mark is put on the finger. Fair voting is done in the presence of an agent of the candidates.
(c) Counting Day : They should ensure that all EVMs are sealed. All EVMs are opened on the same day in a constituency. Agents of all candidates are present when counting is done.
Results declared as soon as counting is done.

Question.6. The table below 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 US Congress? If yes, why and for which communities? If no, why not?
Answer. Students to be divided into groups of 6-7. Each group to hold a discussion and arrive at a conclusion. They must write their views as a group. Teacher must facilitate discussion and help students give their honest opinion.

Question.7. 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.
Answer.
(a) No, this is untrue. EC can order a repoll in case unfair means are used in elections. It can punish if a party or a candidate violates the code of conduct for elections.
(b) (i) Yes, in India, unlike USA, it is the illiterate, the uneducated and the underprivileged people who participate more in elections.
(ii) The number of people whose vote has gone up over the years, which proves the popularity of elections.
(c) (i) No, the ‘Code of Conduct’ for elections prohibits the misuse of power and government machinery by the ruling party.
(ii) If the ruling party fails to fulfil people’s expectations, it is voted out as it has been proved in India many times.
(d) Yes, there are some reforms needed :
(i) Candidates with criminal connections have won elections. This should not have happened.
(ii) Some families tend to dominate elections. Tickets are distributed to relatives from these families.

Question.8. 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?
Answer. No, they don’t. Any one convicted of a crime is not allowed to stand for elections, so Chinappa was debarred. Satbir was also guilty of breaking a law by practising untouchability. So he was also debarred.

Question.9. 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 the 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.
Answer. Nigeria, Fiji and US can follow the Indian example of having a powerful Election Commission which is independent of the government. They should also have a ‘Code of Conduct’ for elections which would stop rigging of votes and parties threatening the voters as they did in Nigeria and Fiji. ‘The Code of Conduct’ should apply to the whole country and different states should not have different rules as in the case of Florida, USA.

Question.10. 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 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 meetings of other parties.
Answer.
(a) The problem in the first case was to gain some popular votes for the ruling party by making promises after the announcement of elections. This should not have been allowed.
(b) In the second, opposition parties were not given the same time to air their views and compaign for elections by the media — TV and Radio. More time was granted to the ruling party. Each party should have the same access to media and given equal importance by it.
(c) Fake voters list should be condemned, a new census taken, a new electoral voters list prepared by impartial agents.
(d) They should have been arrested and punished. This is use of force in favour of a party and breaks the ‘Code of Conduct’ for elections.

Question.11. 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 we consensus, not by competition.
(c) Only graduates should be allowed to stand as candidates for elections.
Answer. (a) He is being biased, he is denying the women their right to vote as they like. The constitution promises equality and no discrimination based on gender.
(b) With a population of millions a consensus can never be achieved. It is only through political competition, where the representatives of people are elected can be form a government.
(c) There is no guarantee that only a graduate can represent his/her people and be a good leader and administrator. Knowledge of the people’s needs, a desire to serve honestly is more important and there is no need to be a graduate for it. In India, this would disqualify a number of people from standing for elections.

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