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As you all know that India is the world's second most populous country, and thus elections in India conjure up elucidations as gala or extravaganza because the participation of people is massive. In India, there are about 1.38 billion people, out of which, approximately 800 million voters will decide who rules the world's largest democracy for the next five years. Electoral candidates promise for better governance, better education, better health facilities, Corruption free bureaucrats system, roads, Water, free health services, better education, giving protection to the backward class from higher and influenced communities, a violence-free society, Respect for women, Jobs for youth. However, there are some candidates who are corrupt as they have criminal records, play the game of caste and religion-based politics, make misuse of money to buy votes are hazardous actions which threaten our electoral process. In addition, a government which is made by a coalition gives power to small parties and hence imbalances our democracy.

In India, our parliament is consist of two legislative chambers which are the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. Rajya Sabha is also known as the upper house. It consists of 250 members. Members are elected by state legislative assemblies and 12 members are nominated by the president. Lok Sabha is also known as the lower house. It consists of 543 members which are directly elected by the people and two additional seats are reserved for Anglo Indians which are nominated by the president. In the Lok Sabha, a person who secures the largest number of votes in each district will win.

To safeguard the representation of disempowered groups in the lower house of the parliament, our Constitution has specified that each state reserves seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in proportion to their population in the state. It clearly means that candidates from marginalised group have a right to contest elections. There is also a pending bill in the parliament which is" The Women's Reservation Bill" which says that the Constitution of India should reserve one-third of all the seats in the Lower house of parliament of India, the Lok Sabha, and in all state legislative assemblies for women. The Women's Reservation Bill has been a topic of extreme debate for over a decade.

The one who enjoys majority support in the lower house will become the prime minister of India. If no single party or alliance has a majority, the leader of the largest single party or alliance is appointed prime minister and must subsequently secure a vote of confidence from the entire lower house.

The Political Parties

At present, India has hundreds of political parties registered (PDF) with the election commission, and of these seven are registered as national parties. The Indian National Congress and its rival the Bharatiya Janata Party are the largest among them. Over 200 parties were formed after independence. Every political party whether it is a national or state party must have a symbol and it is very necessary they must be registered with the Election Commission Of India. As symbols play a major role in identifying the political parties and as such, illiterate people can support the political party of their choice easily. In India, there are about eight recognized national parties which are AITC, BSP, BJP, CPI, INC, NCP, and NPP. There are about 54recognised state parties which are AAP, JD(S), JD(U), AIADMK, DMK, NPF, RJD, RSP, TRS, TDP... Etc. Each and every political party has its own perspective towards the development of the country. They try to analyze the needs and demands of the people and concerns of the state or region and try to fulfill their needs and gain the confidence of the people. It is their major responsibility to serve the nation and it's people. Once they gain the confidence of the people, then people chose them to rule the country through elections. At present, India is ruled by BJP Party and Mr. Narendra Modi is the prime minister of India. If there is a role of the ruling party to run the country effectively, then there is a role of the opposition party to keep an eye on the ruling party. The opposition party who scrutinizes the actions of the ruling party. It also prevents the ruling party from becoming dictatorial. However, it often leads hinders the development process. This is the downside of excessive interference at various levels of functioning. It is of utmost importance, that the ruling party and opposition party need practice more on the development of the nation and broaden their vision for the growth of the country.

Universal Adult Suffrage

Universal adult suffrage means the right to vote for all social groups, irrespective of class, gender, race, caste, religion, wealth, income, political stance, etc. Everyone who is above the age of eighteen has a right to vote. It has also been observed that caste politics in the last three decades have been signified by the desire for power rather than a remarkable agenda for social reform. Parties like BSP and RJD, which came to power by deploying lower castes, have failed to offer much in the way of good governance or long-term social transformation. Instead, once some lower-caste groups have obtained entrance to power, they have then enjoined to detain those prerogatives to their sub-caste. Although the problem is not the salience of caste in Indian politics, but they fail to address its underlying causes. They should create new opportunities for marginalized groups, say some experts. "Unless the newly mobilized Dalit castes can be given access to the gains of the market economy, their prospects for social advancement remain dim," Mehta writes. Analysts note caste plays a lesser role in urban India, and with higher urbanization, its role in electoral politics might decline.

Many Indian historians signify religion’s role in Indian politics back to the British period and 1909, the British policy of establishing separate electorates was also based on religion. However, in the 1980s, many programmes worked to bring religion to the forefront of electoral politics, say experts.

The increase in corruption and poor governance have given rise to immense civil society mobilization searching for greater responsibility from political candidates and reform of the electoral process. In the 2004 general elections, candidates were said to disclose about their assets and criminal records for the first time under new rules pushed for by ordinary citizens. In the 2004 election, the revelations seemed to have little impact on the increasing criminalization of politics, in which 128 of the 543 winners had faced criminal charges including eighty-four cases of murder, seventeen cases of robbery, and twenty-eight cases of theft and extortion.

Before the 2009 elections, a nationwide campaign which was led by more than a thousand NGOs and citizen groups working on electoral reforms demanded more transparency. These NGOs and citizen groups demanded the report of candidates with criminal charges, greater transparency, and regulation of funding of political parties. A very remarkable demand made by NGOs and citizen groups was the voters’ right to reject all the candidates through a "none of the above" option on the ballot paper.

An Election Process

  • The Election Commission of India has been an independent constitutional authority since January 25, 1950.
  • The Commission consists of a Chief Election Commissioner and two Commissioners.
  • The Election Commission is responsible for the smooth functioning of elections to parliament, state legislatures, and the offices of the President and Vice-President.
  • The Election Commission makes, maintains, and also helps to update the Electoral Rolls, which show who is eligible to vote, supervises candidate nominations, registers political parties, and monitors the election campaign, including candidate funding and exponential.
  • The Election Commission eases media coverage of the election process,.It also plays an important role in organizing polling booths where voting takes place, and supervises vote counting and results declaration.
  • The main duty of the Election Commission Of India is to ensure that elections are conducted in a timely and fair manner.

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