Sunday, August 5, 2007

Electoral Politics in India : A Perspective

In a country with an electoral system based on single member constituency there should be a basic requirement that each constituency should have roughly the same size of electorate, so people voting in one place do not have a greater influence over the result than people voting in another. To this purpose our Constitution envisages that the ratio between the number of Lok Sabha seats allocated to a state and its total population will be the same for all states. Article 81 (2) (a) and Article 81 (2) (b) further states that in dividing the state into Lok Sabha (LS) constituencies the ratio between seats and population of such constituencies should be the same, through out the state. In regard to State Legislatures, Article 170 (2) stipulates similarly. The same principle is applied in the case of the constituencies for Panchayats under Article 243 C (1) and municipalities.
The constant rise in the population has caused an enormous growth in the electorate. Urban constituencies facing constant pressure of population migration has witnessed a faster rate of increase in the electorate as compared to other constituencies, bringing about imbalance among the electoral constituencies across India.

In India the discrepancy between constituency electorates is enormous. The discrepancy is largely due to the cancellation of the delimitation that should, according to the original constitution, have taken place after the 1981 and 1991 census. For instance, Lok Sabha constituencies such as Outer Delhi and East Delhi have an electorate of 31 lakhs and 23 lakhs, while the average electorate for a Lok Sabha constituency is a little over 11 lakhs. Even in Delhi, the Chandini Chowk Lok Sabha constituency has less than four lakhs electorate. Several issues have been raised in the past about the disproportionate size of the constituencies. With the huge discrepancy in these Lok Sabha constituencies, does the value of the vote in the Outer Delhi and Chandini Chowk constituencies remain the same? Is it justified in having a similar expenditure limit fixed for these two constituencies? Is it correct to allow a similar number of campaigning days for these two different types of constituencies? Is it right to have a similar amount of developmental fund available for the dissimilar size of the electorate?

1 comment:

moses said...

Its really great.. KEEP IT UP..