Extra Questions for Class 9 Civics Chapter 3 Electoral Politics

Class 9 Social Science Civics Chapter 3 Electoral Politics extra questions and answers available here in PDF format. Solving class 9 extra questions help students to revise the Chapter most competently. We prepared these questions with PDF as per the latest NCERT book and CBSE syllabus. Practising these questions before the exam will ensure excellent marks in the exam.

Class 9 Civics Chapter 3 Extra Questions and Answers

Very Short Answer Questions

1. What is general election?

Answer: Election held after every five year is termed as general election. 

2. Is the Election Commission of India an independent or an advisory body?

Answer: The Election Commission of India is an independent body. 

3. Who is responsible for the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India?

Answer: President of India appoints the Chief Election Commissioner of India. 

4. What is the age of a person who can contest election for Lok Sabha in India?

Answer: The minimum age must be 25 years, who can contest for Lok Sabha in India.

5. On which day is the Voters’ Day celebrated?

Answer: Voters’ Day is celebrated on 25th January.

6. Who appoints Chief Electoral Officer?

Answer: Chief Election Commissioner in consultation with State Government appoints Chief Electoral Officer. 

7. What is official name of voters’ list?

Answer: Voters’ list is officially known as Electoral Roll. 

8. How many seats are reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) in the Lok Sabha?

Answer: Currently, in the Lok Sabha, 79 seats are reserved for the Scheduled Castes. (SCs) 

9. What is Code of Conduct for election?

Answer: A set of norms and guidelines to be followed by political parties and contesting candidates during election time is known as Code of Conduct. 

10. What does the term rigging mean?

Answer: The term ‘rigging’ means fraud and malpractices indulged by a party or candidate to increase its votes. 

11. When does the by-election occur?

Answer: When any vacancy occurs due to death or resignation of a candidate, election becomes necessary and it is known as by-election. 

12. What is the number of Lok Sabha constituencies at present?

Answer: The number of Lok Sabha constituencies at present is 543. 

13. What is ‘Defection?

Answer: Changing party allegiance from the party for which a person got elected to a different party is called ‘Defection’. 

14. What is two-party system?

Answer: Country where two major political parties dominate voting in all election is known as two-party system. 

15. What do you mean by voters?

Answer: People who have the right to vote or participate in the election of representatives are known as voters. 

16. What is mid-term election?

Answer: If the Lok Sabha or any State Legislative Assembly is dissolved before the expiry of its normal term, the election held to constitute a new House is known as mid-term election. 

17. What is election petition?

Answer: If any candidate or voter feels that election in his constituency has not been held properly or if he has any objection against the result he can file an election petition in the court.

18. Which is the largest Legislative Assembly in India?

Answer: Uttar Pradesh is the largest Legislative Assembly   in India. 

19. What is the motive behind reserved constituencies?

Answer: The motive behind reserved constituencies is to ensure proper representation to the weaker sections like Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. 

20. Which party gave the slogan ‘Garibi Hatao’?

Answer:  The Congress Party led by Indira Gandhi gave the slogan of ‘Garibi Hatao’ (Remove Poverty) in the Lok Sabha election of 1971. 

21. Who used the slogan of ‘Land to the Tiller’?

Answer: The Left Front used the slogan of ‘Land to the Tiller’ in the West Bengal elections held in 1977.

22. Which states have more than 30 Lok Sabha constituencies?

Answer: The states which have more than 30 Lok Sabha constituencies are Bihar, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal. 

23. Why do some states have a large number of constituencies?

Answer: Some states have a large number of constituencies because of their population, i.e., large number of voters. 

24. What is a Democratic Election? 

Answer: Election should be conducted in a free and fair manner where people can choose as they really wish and this type of election is known as Democratic Election.

25. What are By Elections?

Answer: When elections are held only for one constituency to fill the vacancy caused by death or resignation of a member. This is called By Elections. 

26, What are Electoral Constituencies?

Answer: The country is divided into different areas for purposes of elections. These areas are called electoral constituencies. 

27. How many constituencies do we have for Lok Sabha?

Answer: For Lok Sabha elections the country is divided into 543 constituencies. 

28. What is an elected representative from the constituency is called?

Answer: The representative elected from each constituency is called a member of parliament or an ME 

29. What is an elected representative at the state level called as?

Answer: Each state is also divided into a specific number of Assembly constituencies. Here the elected representative is called the Member of Legislative Assembly or an MLA.

30. How many seats are reserved for SC & ST in Lok Sabha?

Answer: Currently in the Lok Sabha 79 seats are reserved for the scheduled caste and 41 for the scheduled tribe. 

31. How many seats are reserved for women at local bodies?

Answer: One third of the total seats are reserved in rural and urban local bodies for women candidates.

32. What is a party ticket?

Answer: Political parties nominate their candidates who get the party symbol and support. This party’s nomination is often called the party ‘ticket’. 

33. How does a person file nomination papers?

Answer: Every person who wishes to contest elections has to fill a ‘nomination form’ and give some money as ‘security deposit’. This is how nomination papers are filed. 

34. What are the legal declarations of a party candidate?

Answer:   Details of assets and liabilities of the candidate and his or her family and Educational qualifications of the candidate.

35. Why has personal information of a candidate to be made public?

Answer: This information needs to be made public as it provides an opportunity to the voters to make their decisions on the basis of the information provided by the candidates. 

36. What is the time period of campaigning for elections?

Answer: In one country such campaigns take place for a two-week period between the announcement of the final list of candidates and the date of polling. 

37. What is a ballot paper?

Answer: A ballot paper is a sheet of paper on which the names of the contesting candidates along with party name and symbols are issued. 

38. What is EVM?

Answer: EVMs are electronic voting machines, which are used to record votes. 

39.  How is a vote caste on EVM?

Answer: The machine shows the names of the candidates and the party symbols. All the voter has to do is to press the button against the name of the candidate he or she wants to give vote. 

40. What do you know about ‘Election Commission’?

Answer: In our country elections are conducted by an independent and very powerful election commission. It enjoys the same kind of independence that the judiciary enjoys

41. What do you mean by ‘Turn out’.

Answer: Turnout indicates the percent of eligible voters who actually caste their vote. 

42. Why do common people in India attach a lot of importance to elections?

Answer: They feel that through elections they can bring pressure on political parties to adopt policies and programmes favourable to them. 

43. Give any one challenge of Indian Elections.

Answer: Some families tend to dominate political parties; tickets are distributed to relatives from the families. 

44. Why do we have representative government in most democracies?

Answer: In most democracies, people rule through their representatives. Since it is not possible for everyone to have time and knowledge to take decisions on all matters, representation is needed. 

45. What is the mechanism of Elections behind choosing the representatives of a democratic country?

Answer: It is a mechanism by which people can choose their representatives at regular intervals and change them if they wish to do so. This mechanism is called Elections. 

Short Answer Type Questions

1. How are voters’ choices fulfilled by Elections?

Answer: Voters can choose their law makers, their representatives who can take major decisions of the government and can also choose the particular political party whose policies are the best. 

2. What choices do elections offer for choosing a political party?

Answer: These should be something to choose from parties and candidates should be free to contest elections and should offer real choice of a suitable political party to represent them in the parliament. 

3. What kind of competition is offered to the people for elections?

Answer: The most obvious form is the competition among political parties. At the constituency level, it takes the form of competition among several candidates. If there is no competition elections will be pointless. 

4. Give any two demerits of Electoral Competition.

Answer: (i) It creates a sense of disunity and factionalism in every locality.
(ii) Different political parties and leaders often level allegations against one another. 

5. Give any two merits of Electoral Competition.

Answer: (i) Political leaders all over the world, like all other professionals are motivated by desire to advance their political careers.
(ii) They want to come in power and retain positions for themselves. So they do their best to win the hearts of people. 

6. How can political leaders be made accountable to the people?

Answer: It can be done by setting up a systems where political leaders are rewarded for serving the people and punished for not doing good for the sake of people. Regular electoral competition should be held through elections. 

7. How do political leaders try to win the hearts of the voters?

Answer: Political leaders know that if they raise issues that people want to be raised, their popularity and chances of victory will increase in the next elections. But if they fail to satisfy the voters with their work they will not be able to win again.

8. How does political competition help the leaders to serve the people?

Answer: In the market even if a shopkeeper is interested in his profit only, he is forced to give good service to the customer. Political competition may cause divisions and some ugliness, but it finally helps to force political parties and leaders to serve the people. 

9. How are general elections held in India?

Answer: For Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections are held after every five years. After five years the term of all the elected representatives comes to an end. This is called general elections. They are held in all constituencies at the same time. 

10. How are constituencies divided at the local level?

Answer: At panchayati and municipal elections each village or town is divided into several ‘wards’ that are like constituencies. Each ward elects one member of the village or the urban local body. 

11. What is a Voters’ List?

Answer: In a democratic election the list of those who are eligible to vote is prepared much before the elections and given to everyone. This list is officially called the ‘Electoral Roll’ and is commonly known as ‘Voters’ List’. 

12. What is the principle of universal adult Franchise?

Answer: In practice it means that everyone should have one vote and each vote should have equal value. All the citizens aged 18 years and above have got the right to vote. 

13. What is the Election Photo Identity Card System?

Answer: Every voter is issued this photo identity card by the Election Commission. The voters are required to carry this card when they go out to vote, so that no one can vote for someone else. 

14. How are voters contacted during campaigning?

Answer: Political leaders address election meetings and political parties mobilise their supporters. Campaigning is also done through newspapers and television. Nowadays they take the help of recorded messages in the mobiles also. 

15. What is ‘booth capturing’? 

Answer: Supporters or hired muscle men of a party or a candidate gain physical control of a polling booth and cast false votes by threatening everyone or by preventing genuine voters from reaching the polling booth.

16. What choices are given to a voter during elections?

Answer:(i) They can choose who will make laws for them. (ii) They can choose who will form the government and take major decisions. (iii) They can choose the party whose policies will guide the government and law-making. 

17. What forms does political competition take during elections?

Answer: Political competition takes various forms such as:
(i) The most obvious form is the competition among political parties.
(ii) At the constituency level, it takes the form of competition among several candidates.
(iii) If there is no competition, elections will become pointless.

18. How does electoral competition help the political parties and leaders to win the elections?

Answer: (i) Regular electoral competitions provide incentives to political parties and leaders.
(ii) They know that if they raise issues that people want to be raised, their popularity and chances of victory will increase in the next elections.
(iii) But if they fail to satisfy the voters with their work, they will not be able to win again.

19. What is the ‘Voters’ List’?

Answer: (i) In a democratic election, the list of those who are eligible to vote is prepared much before the election and is available to everyone.
(ii) This list is officially called the Electoral Roll and is commonly known as the Voters’ List.
(iii) This is an important step as it is linked to the first condition of a democratic election. 

19. Why were ‘Reserved Constituencies’ created by the makers of the constitution?

Answer:  The constitution makers were worried that in an open electoral competition, certain weaker sections may not stand a good chances to get elected to the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies. That would make our democracy less representative and less democratic, so they thought of the provision of special system of reserved constituencies for the weaker sections.

20. Why are election campaigns needed?

Answer: The main purpose of elections is to give people a chance to choose the representatives, the government and the policies they prefer. Therefore, it is necessary to have a free and open discussion about who is better representative, which party will make a better government or what is a good policy. It is possible during Election Campaigns. 

21. What is a ‘polling booth’?

Answer: On the election day every person whose name is on the voters list can go to a nearby ‘Polling Booth’, situated usually in a local school or a government office. In this booth voters go inside and election officials identify them and put a mark on his or her finger and allow them to cast the

22. How is the Chief Election Commissioner appointed?

Answer:  The Chief Election Commissioner is appointed by the President of India. But once appointed, he is not answerable to the President or the government. It is virtually impossible even by the ruling party to remove the Chief Election Commissioner.

23. Are elections in India ‘free and fair’?

Answer: Elections in India are basically free and fair. The party that wins an election and forms government does so because people have chosen it once. A few candidates may win on the basis of money power and unfair means. But the overall verdict of a general election still reflects popular preference. 

24. 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% of our society. So, we need to reserve at least one-third seats in the Assemblies and the Parliament for women. This help them to uplift their status in society. 

25. “During elections many political parties and candidates take resort to illegal means to win.” In the light of above statement, name the values and rights that are ignored.

Answer: The following values and rights are ignored in the above statement
(i) Moral values are ignored.
(ii) People are deprived of choosing candidate of their choice.
(iii) Faith in democracy is affected.
(iv) The spirit of free and fair election is ignored.
(v) Provision to provide fair change to get elected is ignored.

26. Do you think that elections promote democracy?

Answer: Yes, elections do promote democracy. They help people to choose candidates on the basis of one-vote-one-value. Parties are free to contest elections. Elections must be held at regular intervals. Further, candidates preferred by people only are elected. Besides, elections are free and fair. 

27. How far is it good to have political competition? Give reasons.

Answer: It is good to have political competition. In a democracy political leaders know what is good for the people. It motivates them to serve the people. Regular electoral competition provides an initiative to political parties arid leaders. Leaders realise that if they raise and work for people’s issues they would become popular and their chance to win would increase. 

28. You visited an electoral booth and viewed malpractices being used to win the election. Can these malpractices be stopped? Give reasons.

Answer:  Yes, the malpractices related to election can be curbed. The Election Commission should ban people with criminal background from contesting election. Further, it should be mandatory for candidates to declare their assets and electoral malpractices or rigging should be checked. 

29. Identify the reasons which make India a successful democracy in the world. 

Answer: (i) Free and fair elections are held.
(ii) Periodic elections are held.
(iii) Independent Election Commission exists to make elections free and fair. 

30. We have seen why democracies need to have elections. But why do rulers in non-democratic countries need to hold elections?

Answer: Rulers in non-democratic countries need to hold elections because they want to show the world that they are not unpopular and they have the support of the people of the country and so that their image improves in the eyes of the world. Secondly, they want to show that their government and position has been achieved legally and accordingly to the constitutional provisions. 

31. 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 institution, tax status, income and wealth. With this information the voters will be able to know more about the candidates and make their own choices. 

32. What makes an election democratic?

Answer:  There are as follows
(i) Election must be held regularly at every few years.
(ii) Every eligible voter must have one vote with equal value.
(iii) There should be more than one party, so that voters can get some real choice.
(iv) Elections should be conducted in a free and fair manner and people should have full freedom to vote for any candidate they like. 

33. Mention any two provisions which ensure the independency of the Election Commission.

Answer:  In our country, the Election Commission has wide ranging powers.
(i) Election Commission takes decisions of every aspect of conduct and control of elections from the announcement of elections to the declaration of results.
(ii) During the election time, 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. 

34. (a) What is Election Manifesto? (b) What is Election Symbol?

Answer: (a) The booklet or pamphlet issued by a political party that tells people about their policies and programmes is known as Election Manifesto.
(b) All major political parties are allotted election symbols by the Election Commission. Independent candidates are also allotted symbols at the time of election. The symbols are allotted so that even the ordinary illiterate voters can recognise the different parties and candidates very easily can cast their vote according to their choice. 

35. How has the interest of the voters in the election-related activities increased in recent years in India?

Answer: The interest of the voters in the election-related activities has been increasing over the year. During the 2004 elections, more than one-third voters took part in a campaign related activities. More that half of the people identified themselves as being close to one or the other political parties. One out of every seven voters is a member of a political party.

36. How does the principle of ‘Universal Adult Franchise’ work in the Indian democracy?

Answer: (i) In practice, universal adult franchise means that everyone should have one vote and each vote should have equal value.
(ii) No one should be denied the right to vote without good reason.
(iii) Citizens differ from one another in many ways; some are rich, some are poor; some are highly educated, some are not; some are kind, others are not so kind. But all of them are human beings with their own needs and views. That is why, all of them deserve to have an equal say in decisions that affect them. 

37. What legal declaration is required to be submitted by each candidate who wishes to contest an election?

Answer: Every candidate has to make a legal declaration, giving full details of the following:
(i) Serious criminal cases pending against the candidate.
(ii) Details of the assets and liabilities of the candidate and his or her family.
(iii) Educational qualifications of the candidate. This information helps voters to make their decisions. 

38. What is an Election Commission? Who appoints the Chief Election Commissioner and how can he/she be removed?

Answer: (i) In our country, elections are conducted by an independent and very powerful Election Commission. It enjoys the same kind of independence as the Judiciary enjoys.

(ii) The Chief Election Commissioner is appointed by the President of India. But once appointed, he is not answerable to the president or the government.

(iii) Even if the ruling party or the government does not like the Chief Election Commissioner it is virtually impossible for it to remove the CEC.

39. What is an Election Commission? What is its role in the elections?

Answer: (i) In our country, elections are conducted by an independent and very powerful Election Commission.
(ii) It enjoys the same kind of independence that the judiciary enjoys.
(iii) The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) is appointed by the President of India. But once appointed, he is not answerable to the President or the government.
(iv) Even if the ruling party or the government does not like what the Commission does, it is virtually impossible for it to remove the CEC. 

40.  What is the outcome of free and fair elections held in India?

Answer: (i) The ruling parties routinely lose elections in India, both at the national and state levels.
(ii) In India, about half of the sitting MPs or MLAs lose elections.
(iii) Candidates who are known to have spent a lot of money in ‘buying votes’ and those with criminal connections often lose elections. Barring very few disputed elections, the electoral outcomes are usually accepted as the people’s verdict by the defeated party.

41. Mention any three powers and functions of the Election Commission of India.

Answer: Powers and Functions of Election Commission of India:
(i) To conduct and control the elections.
(ii) To implement the code of conduct.
(iii) To order the government to follow guidelines.
(iv) To prevent use and misuse of government machinery at the time of election. 

42. How do general elections differ from by-elections?

Answer: When elections are held in all the constituencies at the same time, either on the same day or within few days, this is called general elections. Sometimes, election is held only for one constituency to fill the vacancy caused by death or resignation of a member. This is called a by-election. 

43. How are constituencies for Lok Sabha decided by the Election Commission?

Answer: (i) For Lok Sabha elections, the country is divided into 543 constituencies.
(ii) The representative elected from each constituency is called a Member of Parliament or an MP.
(iii) One of the features of a democratic election is that every vote should have equal value. That is why, our constitution requires that each constituency should have a roughly equal population living within it. 

44. How is division of constituencies done at the state level?

Answer: (i) Each state is divided into a specific number of Assembly constituencies on the basis of their population size.
(ii) In this case, the elected representative is called Member of Legislative Assembly or an MLA.
(iii) Each parliamentary constituency has several assembly constituencies within it. 

45. How has reservation system been extended to other weaker sections?

Answer: (i) The system of reservation was extended later to other weaker sections at the district and local level.
(ii) In many states, seats in rural and urban local bodies are now reserved for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) as well.
(iii) However, the proportion of seats reserved varies from state to state. Similarly, one-third of the seats are reserved in rural and urban local bodies for women candidates

46. What do you know about voter’s ID card?

Answer: (i) In the last few years, a new system of Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) has been introduced.
(ii) The government has made efforts to give this card to every person on the voters’ list. (iii) The voters are required to carry this card when they go out to cast their vote, so that no one can vote for someone else.
(iv) But the card is not yet compulsory for voting. The voters can show many other proofs of identity like the ration card, driving license or the passport, etc. 

47. Do people have real choice in a democratic election?

Answer: (i) In a democratic election, people should have real choice. This happens only when there are almost no restrictions on anyone to contest elections. This is what our system provides.
(ii) Anyone who can be a voter, can also become a candidate in elections and therefore can contest elections.
(iii) The only difference is that in order to be a candidate, the minimum age is 25 years, while it is only 18 years for being a voter. 

48. In what manner does the Election Commission monitor the election campaign?

Answer: (i) In a democracy, it is best to leave political parties and candidates free to conduct their election campaigns the way they want to.
(ii) But it is sometimes necessary to regulate campaigns to ensure that every political party and candidate gets a fair and equal chance to compete.
(iii) Election Commission can fix the amount of rupees to be spent in campaigning and any kind of malpractices can be checked by them. 

49. What is a Model Code of Conduct for election campaigns?

Answer: (i) No party or candidate can use any place of worship for election propaganda.
(ii) No party or candidate can use government vehicles, aircraft and officials for elections.
(iii) Once elections are announced, ministers shall not lay foundation stones of any projects, take any big policy decision or make any promises of providing public facilities.

50. How can we check the quality of the election process?

Answer: Ways to check the quality of the election process:
(i) To see whether people participate in it with enthusiasm.
(ii) Turn out of the voters indicate it.
(iii) Large proportions of the poor, illiterate, and under privileged vote in the process. It shows the success of the system.
(iv) Election-related activities are increasing over the years. 

51. How are results declared after an election in our country?

Answer: (i) A few days later, on a fixed date, all the EVMs from a constituency are opened and the votes secured by each candidate are counted.
(ii) In general elections, usually the counting of votes in all the constituencies takes place at the same time, on the same day.
(iii) Television channels, radio and newspapers report this event. Within a few hours of counting, all the results are declared and it becomes clear. as to who will form the next government. 

52. What does turnout figure indicate?

Answer: (i) People’s participation in election is usually measured by voters’ turnout figure.
(ii) Turnout indicates the percentage of eligible voters who actually cast their vote.
(iii) Over the last fifty years, the turnout in Europe and North America has declined. In India, the turnout has either remained stable or actually gone up. 

53. Is it true that the interest of voters is increasing day by day in election- related activities?

Answer: (i) The interest of voters in election-related activities has been, increasing over the years. (ii) During the 2004 elections, more than one-third voters took part in campaign-related activities. (iii) More than half of the people identified themselves as being close to one or the other political party. One out of every seven voters is a member of a political party. 

54. In what way does the outcome of elections matter to the people?

Answer: (i) One final test of the free and fairness of the elections is in its outcome itself.
(ii) If elections are not free or fair, the outcome always favours the powerful. In such a situation, the ruling parties do not lose elections.
(iii) Usually, the losing party does not accept the outcome of a rigged elections. 

55. How can you say that elections in India are free, fair and democratic?

Answer: (i) 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.
(ii) 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.
(iii) There is very few exceptions to this rule in the last fifty years in our country. This is what makes Indian elections democratic.

56. What does booth capturing and rigging mean in the elections? 

Answer:(i) Booth capturing: Supporters or hired musclemen of party or a candidate gain physical control of a polling booth and cast false votes by threatening everyone or by preventing genuine voters from reaching the polling booth. (ii) Rigging: Fraud and malpractices indulged by a party or candidate to increase his votes. It includes stuffing ballot boxes by a few persons using the votes of others; recording multiple votes by the same person; and bribing polling officers to favour a candidate. 

Long Answer Type Questions

1. What are the minimum conditions for a democratic election?

Answer: Minimum conditions for democratic elections are as follows:
(i) Everyone should be able to choose. This means that everyone should have one vote and every vote should have equal value.
(ii) Parties and candidates should be free to contest elections and should offer some real choice to the voters.
(iii) The choice should be offered at regular intervals. Elections must be held every few years.
(iv) The candidates preferred by the people should get elected.
(v) Elections should be conducted in a free and fair manner, where people can choose as they wish.

2. What are the merits and demerits of an electoral competition?

Answer: Merits: 
(i) In an ideal world, all political leaders know what is good for the people and are motivated only by a desire to serve them.
(ii) Our constitution makers opted for free competition in elections as the way to select our future leaders, because this system works better in the long run. (iii) Political leaders are motivated by a desire to advance in their political careers. They want to remain in power or get power and position for themselves for which, they can compete with other political parties.

Demerits: 

(i) An electoral competition creates a sense of disunity and factionalism in every locality.
(ii) Different political parties and leaders often level allegations against one another.
(iii) Parties and candidates often use dirty tricks to win elections. 

3. How are elections held in India?

Answer: (i) Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections are held regularly, after every five years.
(ii) After five years, the term of all the elected representatives comes to an end.
(iii) The Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha stands dissolved.
(iv) Elections are held in all constituencies at the same time either on the same day or within a few days. This is called a ‘general election’.
(v) Sometimes, elections are held only for one constituency to fill the vacancy caused by the death or resignation of a member. This is called a ‘by-election’. 

4. Why were ‘reserved constituencies’ devised for the weaker sections by the makers of the Indian constitution?

Answer: (i) The constitution makers were worried that in an open electoral competition, certain weaker sections may not stand a good chance to get elected to the Lok Sabha and to the State Legislative Assemblies.
(ii) They may not have the required resources, education and contacts to contest and win elections against others.
(iii) Those who are influential and resourceful may prevent them from winning the elections.
(iv) If that happens, our Parliament and Assemblies will be deprived of the voice of a significant section of the population. This would make our democracy less representative and less democratic. 

5. How was the system of ‘reserved constituencies’ introduced for the SCs and STs?

Answer: (i) Some constituencies are reserved for the people who belong to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
(ii) In an SC-reserved constituency, only someone who belongs to the scheduled caste can stand for elections.
(iii) Similarly, only those belonging to a scheduled tribe can contest elections from a constituency reserved for STs.
(iv) Currently, 79 seats are reserved for the Scheduled Castes and 41 for the Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha.
(v) This number is in proportion to their share in the total population; thus the reserved seats for SCs and STs do not take away the legitimate share of any other social group. 

6. How does a party file a nomination for its candidate?

Answer: (i) In order to be a candidate, the minimum age is 25 years.
(ii) Political parties nominate their candidates who get the party symbol and support.
(iii) Party’s nomination is often called a party ‘ticket’.
(iv) Every person who wishes to contest an election has to fill a ‘nomination form’ and give some money as ‘security deposit’. If the information provided is not correct, the nomination can be cancelled and the security deposit is returned. 

7. How is campaigning done for elections held in India?

Answer: (i) In India, such campaigns take place for a two-week period between the announcement of the final list of candidates and the date of polling.
(ii) During this period, the candidates contact their voters.
(iii) Political leaders address election meetings and political parties mobilize their supporters.
(iv) This is also the period when newspapers and the television news broadcasting channels are full of election-related stories and debates.
(v) During election campaigns, political parties try to focus the public attention on some big issues.
(vi) They want the public to vote for their party on that basis. 

8. Write some of the successful slogans given by different political parties in various elections.

Answer: (i) ‘Garibi Hatao’ was the slogan of the Congress party, led by Indira Gandhi in the Lok Sabha elections of 1971. The party promised to prepare all policies to remove poverty from the country.
(ii) ‘Save Democracy’ was the slogan of the Janata Party in the Lok Sabha elections of 1977. The party promised to undo the excesses committed during the Emergency and restore civil liberties.
(iii) ‘Land to the Tiller’ was the slogan used by the Left Front in the West Bengal Assembly elections held in 1977.
(iv) ‘Protect the Self-respect of the Telugus’ was the slogan used by N.T. Rama Rao, the leader of the Telugu Desam Party in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections in 1983. 

9. What election laws are made for campaigning?

Answer: Every political party and candidate gets a fair and equal chance to compete. According to our election law, no party or candidate can:
(i) bribe or threaten the voters to vote for them only;
(ii) appeal to the voters in the name of caste or religion;
(iii) use the government resources for election campaigns;
(iv) spend more than ` 25 lakhs in a constituency for the Lok Sabha elections or ` 10 lakhs in a constituency during an assembly election. If they do so, their election can be rejected by the court even after they have been declared elected. 

10. How are ‘polls’ conducted in India?

Answer:  (i) The final stage of an election is the day when the voters cast their votes in a polling booth. That day is usually called the Election Day.
(ii) Every person whose name is on the voters’ list can go to a nearby ‘polling booth’, situated usually in a local school or a government office.
(iii) Once the voter goes inside the booth, the election officials identify him or her by putting a mark on his or her finger and allow him or her to cast the vote.
(iv) An agent of each candidate is allowed to sit inside the polling booth and ensure that the voting takes place in a fair way.
(v) A ballot paper is placed in which the names of the contesting candidates along with their party name and symbols are listed.
(vi) Nowadays, Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are used to record votes.
(vii) The machine shows the names of the candidates and party symbols. Independent candidates too have their own symbols, allotted by the election officials.
(viii) Each voter has to press the button against the name of the candidate she or he wants to vote for. 

11. How are votes counted after the polls?

Answer: (i) Once the polling is over, all the EVMs are sealed and taken to a secure place. (ii) A few days later, on a fixed date, all the EVMs from a constituency are opened and the votes secured by each candidate are counted.
(iii) The agents of all candidates are present there to ensure that the counting is done properly.
(iv) The candidate who secures the highest number of votes from a constituency is declared elected.
(v) In a general election, the counting of votes in all the constituencies usually takes place at the same time, and on the same day.
(vi) Within a few hours of counting, all the results are declared and it becomes clear as to who will form the next government. 

12. Who organises the election procedure in India?

Answer: (i) In India, elections are conducted by an independent and very powerful Election Commission (EC).
(ii) It enjoys independence like the judiciary of our country.
(iii) The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) is appointed by the President of India. But once appointed, the CEC is not answerable to the President or the government.
(iv) Even if the ruling party or the government does not like what the Commission does, it is virtually impossible for them to remove the CEC. 

13. What powers are exercised by the Election Commission of India?

Answer:  (i) The Election Commission (EC) controls the elections right from the announcement of the elections to the declaration of the result.
(ii) It implements the Code of Conduct and punishes any candidate or party that violates it.
(iii) During the election period, the EC can order the government to follow some guidelines, to prevent the use and misuse of government power to enhance its chances to win the elections or to transfer some government officials.
(iv) If the EC comes to know that the polling was not fair in some booths or even an entire constituency, they order a repoll.

14. How is the ‘voter turnout’ in India measured?

Answer: (i) People’s participation in elections is usually measured by the voter turn out figures. Turnout indicates the per cent of eligible voters who actually cast their votes.
(ii) In India, the poor, illiterate and the underprivileged people vote in larger proportion as compared to the rich and privileged sections.
(iii) Common people in India attach a lot of importance to elections. They feel that through elections, they can bring pressure on the political parties to adopt policies and programmes favourable for them.
(iv) The interest of voters, in election-related activities, has been increasing over the years. 

15. What are the challenges to free and fair elections in India?

Answer: Challenges to free and fair elections in India are as follows:
(i) 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.
(ii) In some parts of the country, candidates with criminal connection have been able to secure a ‘ticket’ from major parties.
(iii) Some families tend to dominate the political parties; tickets are distributed to relatives from these families.
(iv) Very often, elections offer little choice to ordinary citizens as both the major parties are similar to each other in their policies and practices.
(v) Smaller parties and independent candidates suffer a huge disadvantage as compared to the bigger parties. 

16. Which section of our country’s population is eligible to vote? 

Answer: (i) In our country, all the citizens aged 18 years and above can vote in an election.
(ii) Every citizen has the right to vote, regardless of his or her caste, religion or gender. (iii) Some criminals and persons with unsound mind can be denied the right to vote, but only in rare situations.
(iv) It is the responsibility of the government to get the names of all the eligible voters put on voters’ list.
(v) Names of those who move out of a place or those who are dead are deleted.
(vi) A complete revision of the list takes place every five years. This is done to ensure that it remains up to date.

17. (a) What is ballot paper? (b) Name the machine by which these papers have been replaced. (c) Why is there no educational qualification required for the candidates for contesting election?

Answer:(a) A ballot paper is a sheet of paper on which the names of the contesting candidates along with party name and symbols are listed. The voters put a stamp on the name of the candidate whom they want to elect.
(b) Nowadays Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are used instead of ballot papers.
(c) The relevant qualification for being an MLA or an MP is the ability to understand people’s concerns, problems and to represent their interests. Educational qualification is not relevant to them. Fixed educational qualification will deprive a large section of people to contest election. 

18. “One final test of the free and fairness of election lies in the outcome itself”. Justify the statement with the help of the outcomes of India’s elections.

Answer: Outcomes of India’s elections justify the statement in the following ways  
(i) The ruling parties routinely lose elections in India both at the national and state levels. In fact in every two out of the three elections held in the last fifteen years, the ruling party lost.
(ii) Candidates who are known to have spent a lot or money on ‘buying votes’ and those with known criminal connections often lose elections.  
(iii) Barring very few disputed elections, the electoral outcomes are usually accepted as ‘peoples’ verdict’ by defeated party,  

19. Highlight any three issues which bring many limitations and challenges of Indian elections to our attention.

Answer: Important three issues are following
(i) Candidates and parties with lot of money enjoy a big and unfair advantage over smaller parties or independent candidates.
(ii) Candidates with criminal records have been able to push others out of electoral race and secure a ticket from major parties.
(iii) Some families tend to dominate political parties and secure tickets for their own family members. (iv) Smaller parties and independents suffer a huge disadvantage compared to bigger parties. 

20. (a) What is the importance of the election campaign? (b) Which values should contestants keep in mind during election campaign 

Answer: (a) Election campaign is very important for election because

  • It is a time period when free and open discussion takes place between different political parties.
  • It is the time period when candidates contact their voters, political leaders address election meetings.
  • It is the time period when newspapers and television news are full of election related stories and debates.
  • This is also the period when people come to know policies and programmes of various political parties.

(b) Some values that the contestants should keep in mind are honesty, non-violence, patriotism, team work, etc. 

21. What is a Universal Adult Franchise? Why has it been adopted in India?

Answer:  Right to express one’s choice by vote is called Franchise. When the right to vote or franchise is given to every adult in a state, it is known as the Universal Adult Franchise. In India, elections are held on the basis of Universal Adult Franchise. To elect their representatives, elections are held from time to time. In India, we have indirect democracy. The government is run by the representatives, who are elected by the people. Every citizen of India, who has completed 18 years of age, has been given the right to vote irrespective of his caste, religion, sex, etc. Everybody, whether he is rich or poor, young or old, man or woman, learned or illiterate should have equal voice in our democracy. One person one vote makes our government responsible to all citizens.

22. How does our election law regulate campaigns?

Answer: In a democracy, it is best to leave political parties and candidates free to conduct election campaign. But it is also necessary to regulate campaign to ensure that every political party and candidate gets a fair and equal chance to compete. According to our election law, no party or candidate can
(i) bribe or threaten voters.
(ii) use any place or worship or appeal to the voters in the name of religion or caste.
(iii) use government resources, government vehicles, air crafts for elections.
(iv) spend more than Rs. 25 lakh in a constituency for a Lok Sabha election and Rs. 10 lakh in a constituency in an Assembly election.
(v) once elections are announced no minister can lay foundation stones of any project or take any policy decision. 

23. What is Reserved Constituencies? Why do we have this system in our country? What values of our Constitution makers is highlighted in creating this policy?

Answer: Our Constitution entitles every citizen to elect his representatives or to be elected as a representative. So, they thought of a special system of reserved constituencies for the weaker section i.e.’ Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs).

This system of Reserved constituencies (79 seats for the Scheduled Castes and 41 for the Scheduled Tribes in Lok Sabha) makes our democracy a real representative democracy. Such classes in our society were victims of discrimination for centuries. So, if the representatives among them had not been elected, our Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies would have been deprived of the voice of a significant section of our society.

The values of our Constitution makers highlighted in creating this policy is their desire to bring everyone in the society on the same platform. Hence, they advocated the value ‘equality for all’.

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