Elections form the bedrock of the largest democracy in the world – India. Since Independence, as many as 15 Lok Sabhas have been formed through elections, the first one being held in 1951-52. The methodology of election is through universal adult suffrage, whereby every citizen of India over 18 years of age is an eligible voter in the eyes of the Constitution.
The importance of elections in India—and for that matter, in any democracy—is as follows:
- Choice of leadership: Elections provide a way for the citizens of India to choose their leaders. They do so by casting their vote in favour of the candidate or party whose views appeal to them. This ensures that the will of the people is reflected in the elected candidates.
- Change of leadership: Elections in India are also a platform for the public to voice their resentment against a ruling party. By voting for other parties and helping elect a different government, citizens demonstrate that they possess ultimate authority.
- Political participation: Elections open the door for new issues to be raised in public. If a citizen of India wishes to introduce reforms that are not the agenda of any of the parties, he or she is free to contest the elections either independently or by forming a new political party.
- Self-corrective system: Because elections are a regular exercise, occurring every five years in India, the ruling parties are kept in check and made to consider the demands of the public. This works as a self-corrective system whereby political parties review their performance and try to appease the voters.
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Last Updated on 10/15/2013