NCERT Solutions for Political Science
Chapter 4 – Electoral Politics
Question 1 Do most leaders fulfill 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 fulfill their election promises.
|The time is after midnight. An expectant crowd sitting for the past five hours in a chowk of the town is waiting for its leader to come. The organisers assure and reassure the crowd that he would be here any moment. The crowd stands up whenever a passing vehicle comes that way. It arouses hopes that he has come.|
The leader is Mr. Devi Lal, chief of the Haryana Sangharsh Samiti, who was to address a meeting in Karnal on Thursday night. The 76-year-old leader, is a very busy man these days. His day starts at 8 a.m. and ends after 11 p.m…. he had already addressed nine election meetings since morning… been constantly addressing public meetings for the past 23 months and preparing for this election.
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)
(i) Elections can lead to changes in the policy of the government
(ii) The Governor invited Devi Lal to become the Chief Minister because he was impressed with his speeches.
(iii) People are unhappy with every rulling party and vote against it in the next election.
(iv) The party that wins the election forms the government.
(v) The election led to a lot of economic development in Haryana
(vi) The Congress Chief Minister need not have resigned after his party lost elections.
(iv) Inadequate information
(vi) Inadequate information
Question 1. 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 according to the constitutional provisions.
Question 1 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 1 Read these two cartoons carefully.
(a) Write the message of each of them in your own words.
Answer (a) The cartoon shown on the left given the message
1. 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 fulfill all of them. As a result electorates chase him to fulfill his promises.
Question 1 Why is the boundary of the Gulbarga Lok Sabha Constituency not the same as the district boundary of Gulbarga?
Answer 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.
Question 2 How many Assembly constituencies are there in the Gulbarga Lok Sabha constituency?
Answer There are 8 Assembly constituencies in the Gulbarga Lok Sabha Constituency.
Question 1 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 help them to uplift their status in society.
See the map above and answer the following questions
(ii) Which states have more than 30 Lok Sabha constituencies?
Answer The states which have more than 30 Lok Sabha constituencies are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal.
(iii) Why do some states have such a large number of constituencies?
Answer Some states have large number of constituencies because of their population. Here, voters are in large numbers.
(iv) Why are some constituencies small in area while others are very big?
Answer 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.
(v) Are the constituencies reserved for the SCs and STs evenly spread all over the entire country or are there more in some areas?
Answer 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 1 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 1 Match the following features of our electoral system with the principles they reflect
|Principles||Features of Election System|
|Universal adult Franchise||Each constituency has roughly the same population|
Representation of weaker sections
Everyone who is 18 years of age or older has a right to vote
|Open political competition||Anyone can form a party or contest elections|
|One vote one value||Reservation of seats for the SCs and the STs|
|Principles||Features of Election System|
|(i) Universal adult Franchise||Everyone who is 18 years of age or older has a right to vote|
|(ii) Representation of weaker sections||Reservation of seats for the SCs and the STs|
|(iii)Open political competition||Anyone can form a party or contest elections|
|(iv) One vote one value||Each constituency has roughly the same population|
Election result in Gulbarga
Let us go back to our example of Gulbarga. In 2004, a total of 11 candidates contested elections in that constituency. The total eligible voters were 14.39 lakhs. Of these 8.28 lakh voters had cast their votes. The candidate of the Congress party, Iqbal Ahmed Saradgi secured about 3.12 lakh votes. This was only about 38% of the total votes polled. But since he had secured more votes than anyone else, he was declared elected a Member of Parliament from Gulbarga Lok Sabha constituency.
(i) What is the percentage of voters who had actually cast their votes?
Answer 57.54 per cent of total voters cast their own votes.
(ii) 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 2 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 3 Identify the fair and the unfair electoral practices among the following
(i) A minister flags off a new train in his constituency a week before polling day.
(ii) A candidate promises that she will get a new train for her constituency if she is elected.
(iii) Supporters of a candidate take the voters to a temple and make them take an oath that they will vote for him.
(iv) The supporters of a candidate distribute blankets in slums in return for a promise for vote.
(i) Unfair electoral practice
(ii) Fair electoral practice
(iii) Unfair electoral practice
(iv) Unfair electoral practice
Question 1 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.
Read these headlines carefully and identify which powers are used by the Election Commission in each instance to ensure free and fair elections.
(i) Election Commission issues notification constituting 14th Lok Sabha.
Answer Election Commission takes decisions on every aspect of conduct and control of elections, from the announcement of elections to the declaration of results.
(ii) Election Commission tightens norms for poll expenses.
Answer 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 25 lakhs for election in a Lok Sabha constituency and 10 lakhs for election in an Assembly constituency.
(iii) Election Commission to visit Gujarat again, review poll arrangements.
Answer 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.
(iv) High Court asks Election Commission to bar ‘Criminal’ netas.
Answer Election Commission takes decisions on every aspect of conduct and control of elections.
(v) Election Commission shoots down Home Minister advice on poll reforms.
Answer Election Commission enjoys the 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.
(vi) Photo I cards not mandatory in Bihar polls.
Answer 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.
(vii) Election Commission accepts new Haryana DGP.
Answer 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.
(viii) Election Commission will seek power to censure political ads.
Answer Election Commission implements the code of conduct and punishes any candidate or party that violates it.
(ix) Election Commission says no immediate plan to ban Exist Polls.
Answer 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 Exist Polls.
(x) Election Commission orders repoll in 398 more booths.
Answer 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.
(xi) Election Commission to keep closer eye on hidden poll costs.
Answer 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 1 The leader is coming out of a press conference, “What was 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
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.
(i) Is this an accurate picture of what happens to the voter before and after elections?
(ii) Must this always happen in a democracy?
(iii) Can you think of examples when this did not happen?
(i) Yes, this is an accurate picture of what happens to the voter before and after election.
(ii) 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.
(iii) No. I cannot think of examples when this did not happen.
Question 2 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
(i) The Lok Sabha has always had less than 10 per cent women members.
(ii) The Election Commission often refuses to accept the government’s advice about when the elections should be held.
(iii) The current Lok Sabha has more than 145 members whose assets are more than 1 crore.
(iv) After losing an election the Chief Minister said. ” I respect the people verdict”.
(i) It is the weakness of our electoral system which sends only 10 per cent women members to the Lok Sabha while the population of women is nearly 50 per cent of the total population.
(ii) 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.
(iii) 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.
(iv) 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.
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 (c) Elections enable people to evaluate the performance of the judiciary
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
(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
|(a) It is necessary to keep the voters list up-to-date because||(iv) some people may have moved away from the area where they voted last|
|(b) Some constituencies are reserved for SCs and STs so that||(i) there is a fair representation of all sections of our society|
|(c) Everyone has one and only one vote so that||(ii) everyone has equal opportunity to elect their representative|
|(d) Party in power is not allowed to use government vehicles because||(iii) all candidates must have a fair chance of competing in elections|
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 The following list contains the different election related activities of the electoral process, beginning with the first activity and ending with the last.
(1) Making of voters’ list
(i) Announcing of election schedule
(ii) Filling of nomination
(iv) Releasing election manifestos
(v) Election campaign
(vi) Casting of votes
(vii) Ordering of re-poll
(vii) Counting of votes
(ix) 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
(a) Election Campaign: During the election, Surekha should ensure that candidates or their supporters do not
1) Use muscle power and threaten the voters.
2) Use money power to influence the voters.
3) Use government machinery and resources.
4) Spend more money than the limit fixed by the Election Commission.
5) Distribute money or other things (saris, sewing machines, umbrellas) among voters during election campaign.
6) Ask for votes in the name of caste or religion.
(b) Polling Day
On polling day Surekha has to ensure that
1) Booth capturing does not take place.
2) Fake or Bogus votes are not cast.
3) Poor and weaker sections of society are able to cast their Vote freely and without fear.
4) No unauthorised person should be allowed to enter polling booth.
(c) Counting Day
On the counting day, Surekha will have to ensure that
1) The voting machines are intact.
2) The voting should begin in the presence of the candidates and their agents.
3) Counting should be done carefully and accurately.
4) No unauthorised person should be allowed into the counting center.
5) After the counting, results are declared by the authorised official.
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?
|Proportion of the community (in per cent) in the|
|House of representatives||Population of US|
Answer Based on the figures given in the table it is clear that Blacks and Hispanics have much less representation than their population in the US Congress. Therefore to give them proper representation, reservation should be provided to them.
Question 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 7 (a) No, this conclusion is wrong because the Election Commission is indeed powerful enough to ensure free and fair elections.The Election Commission has complete control over all the functionaries connected with the conduct of elections. It can order repoll if there is report of rigging.
(b) This conclusion is right. Now-a-days the people are more aware and more and more people have started to cast their vote and the voting percentage has gone up. Ruling parties often lose elections due to change in voting preference by the people.
(c) This is a wrong conclusion, because the party in power often lose elections. It is always the anti-incumbancy factor working against it.
(d) This conclusion is right. Though the role of money and muscle power has been reduced but there is still need to control it further. Because some politicians and political parties are still able to take advantage of money power in elections. Many candidates with criminal records
use muscle power to threaten and terrorise other candidates and voters which needs to be checked.
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 This decision of the court preventing Chinappa and Satbir from contesting elections does not go against the principles of democratic actions because both have been found quilty of breaking the law, by the court.Criminals should not be allowed to hold position of power because they are not good citizens and could harm interests of the people.
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 voters of Indian origin.
(c) In the US, each state has its own method of voting, its own procedure of counting arid its own authority for conducting elections. Authorities in the state of Florida took many
controversial decisions that favoured Mr Bush in the presidential elections in 2000. But no one could change those decisions.
(a) If the malpractice has been proved in a court, the elections should be declared null and void and re-election should be held in that constituency. The officer in-charge of the counting should be given strict punishment for committing such irregularity. The system of counting should be such that the counting officer cannot be able to do this. In India, this is not possible as counting agents of all the candidates are present in the counting centre and counting of votes takes places in their presence.
(b) To issue such a poster is definitely an electoral malpractice. The circulation of such a poster should be checked immediately. The source of the poster- a person, candidate or political party should be found out an punished, as it violates the principle of democratic
(c) Since each state in the USA has it own method of voting, its own procedure of counting and its own authority for conducting elections, the decisions taken by the state of Florida must be according to the election laws passed by that state. No one could challenge those decisions as those must have been taken in accordance with the laws made by that state. In India, since states are not authorised to make their own laws for election, such a situation cannot arise.
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 in Doordarshan and All India Radio.
(c) An inquiry by the Election Commission showed that electoral rolls of a state contain name of 20 lakh fake voters.
(d) The hoodlums of a political party were moving with guns, physically preventing supporters of other political parties to Pet the voters and attacking meetings of other parties.
Answer (a) The minister by promising to provide financial aid to the sugar mill broke electoral code of conduct. According to the election law no minister or member of the legislature can take decisions which could influence the elections. The said minister should not be allowed to contest the election.
(b) All the parties should be given adequate time to express their views on Doordarshan and All India Radio. This has already been done by the Election Commission and time is fixed for different political parties.
(c) The electoral rolls of that state should be fully revised and names of all the fake voters should be removed from the voters’ list.
(d) This is also a malpractice adopted by certain candidate and even by political parties during the elections. Movement of people with guns and other arms should be strictly banned. The hoodlums should be arrested and the party could be warned or banned from contesting
elections for a certain period. The candidates must be provided with secrutiny by the state and steps should be taken to ensure that meeting of other parties are not disturbed or attacked.
Question 11 Ramesh was not in class when this chapter was being taught. He came the next day and repeated what he had heard from his father. Can you tell Ramesh what is wrong with these statements?
(a) Women always vote the way men tell them to. So, what is the point of giving them the right to vote?
(b) Party politics creates tension in society. Elections should be decided by consensus not by competition.
(c) Only graduates should be allowed to stand as candidates for elections.
(a) Women should not be denied the right to vote because they are as intelligent as men and can take their own decision without being influenced by the menfolk of their families. Moreover voting is done by secret ballot which means you do not have to disclose whom you voted for.
(b) Party politics and competition in election certainly creates tension in society. But elections should not be by consensus but by competition. In modern states, where population is very large, it is not possible to have consensus on election. It is just impracticable.
(c) Only allowing graduates to stand as candidates for elections is wrong, it is not necessary that a graduate person will be more sensitive to the needs of the people or that he will turn out to be an honest and sincere person. To prescribe educational qualifications (graduate level) would go against the spirit of democracy. In India, it will deprive a large section of the country’s citizens the right to contest elections. However, it is better to have educated politicians, but being graduate should not be a compulsion.