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Types of Elections in India


Types of Elections in India

Elections are classified into two types:

    1. Direct Election
    2. Indirect Election

Direct Election

People directly vote for the candidates in the election process and elect their representatives. In the Direct Elections, people over the age of 18 years participate in the electoral process by casting their votes. The following are examples of direct election:

    • Lok Sabha elections, in which the Members of Parliament are elected.
    • Elections to the state Legislative Assemblies, in which the Members of Legislative Assemblies are elected.
    • Elections to the local governing bodies, in which members of the local governing bodies like the municipal corporation or the panchayat are elected.

Merits:

    • As the voters elect their representatives directly, direct elections are considered to be a more democratic method of election.
    • It educates people regarding the government activities and helps in choosing the appropriate candidates. Also, it encourages people to play an active role in politics.
    • It empowers people and makes the rulers accountable for their actions.

Demerits:

    • Direct elections are very expensive.
    • Illiterate voters sometimes get misguided by false propaganda and sometimes campaigning based on caste, religious and various other sectarian consideration spose serious challenges.
    • Since conducting direct elections is a massive exercise, ensuring free and fair elections at every polling station is a major challenge to the Election Commission.
    • There are instances of some political candidates influencing the voters through payments in the form of cash, goods or services.
    • Election campaigns sometimes results in violence, tension, law and order problems and affects the day-to-day life of people.

Indirect Elections

Voters elect their representatives, who, in turn, elect their representatives to formal offices like the President’s office.

Merits:

    • Indirect elections are less expensive.
    • It is more suited to elections in large countries.

Demerits:

    • If the number of voters is very small, there exists the possibility of corruption, bribery, horse trading and other unfair activities.
    • It is less democratic because people do not have a direct opportunity to elect, but they instead do it through their representatives. So, this may not reflect the true will of the people.
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