NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Civics Chapter 3 – Electoral Politics

Civics is defined as the study of political and practical aspects, rights and duties of the citizens. It is the science that speaks about the privileges of the citizens in society. Civics forms a strong base when looking forward to pursuing a career in civil services, law, journalism, marketing and research, teaching, public representation, legislative assessment, political science, and political analysis. 

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Key Topics Covered In NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Civics Chapter 3

The people elect representatives in a democratic form of government. The chapter 'Electoral Politics' gives a broader view of how the representatives are elected and what makes elections necessary in a democracy. NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Civics chapter 3 summarises why electoral practice is essential in a democracy, whether elections in India are fair, and the role of the Election Commission in ensuring free and fair elections.

Before we go further, let us look at the key topics covered by NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Civics Chapter 3.

  • Why Elections?
  • What Is Our System Of Elections?
  • What Makes Elections In India Democratic?

Why Elections?

Elections lead to changes in the policy of the government. Let's understand with a simple example stated in NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Civics Chapter 3.

  • During the State assembly election in Haryana, An opposition leader Chaudhary Devilal led a movement called 'Nyaya Yudh' against Congress, the opposition party then.
  • He delivered an impressive speech where he promised to waive off farmers' and small business people's loans. 
  • Once the election results were announced, the members of the legislative assembly of Lok dal chose Devi Lal as their leader. The Governor invited Devi Lal to become the chief minister. 
  • However, in the next elections in 1991, his party did not win the election. Congress formed the new government. 
  • When people are unhappy with the ruling party, they vote against it in the next election. The winning party constantly forms the government. 
  • The election in Haryana gave rise to a lot of economic development.

Importance of Elections

In more than a hundred countries, elections are conducted constantly in any democracy. How do we know if the people like their representatives? Can we make sure that these representatives rule as per the people's desires? Is it possible to ensure that those who are disliked do not remain people's representatives? 

Hence, we need a system by which people can regularly appoint their representatives and replace them if they wish. This process is termed as election. Thus, the mechanism of elections is considered crucial for any county with a democracy governed by representatives. Voters are free to make choices in an election.

  • Citizens can choose the lawmakers of the country.
  • Citizens can choose who will establish the government and take important decisions.
  • Citizens can select the party whose policies will lead the government and lawmaking. 

What makes an election democratic?

All democratic countries and non-democratic countries hold elections. We should know how to distinguish democratic elections from other elections. Here is a simple list of the minimum requirements observed in a democratic election.

  • First, every citizen should have one vote, and every vote should have equal value.
  • Second, voters should be given a choice. Candidates and parties should be free to contest in elections.
  • Third, the election should be held after every few years.
  • Next, People should elect the candidate they prefer.
  • Finally, Elections should be conducted by free and fair means.

Are political competitions good?

At the constituency level, if there is no competition among candidates and parties, the election will be considered pointless. However, there could be disadvantages. For example, it brings about disunity and factionalism among the people.

Parties and candidates use unfair means to win elections. This prevents good people from serving the country as they don't prefer the idea of unhealthy competition. Electoral competition provides a fair and realistic way to set up a system in which leaders of the political parties are rewarded for serving the people and punished if they don't.

The main objective of elections is to force political parties and leaders to serve the people, even if a political party is motivated by power.

For more conceptual clarity on elections, you can go through NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Civics Chapter 3 on Extramarks’ website.

Our System Of Elections

The Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections are held every five years. After five years, the representatives elected came to an end, and the Lok Sabha and Vidhan sabha stands dissolved.

Difference Between General Elections And By-elections?

General elections are the elections held in all constituencies at the same time. This could take place on the same day or between a few days. While by-elections are elections held only for one constituency to fill the vacancy of a member who has passed away or resigned.

Electoral constituencies

Our country is divided into 543 constituencies for the Lok Sabha elections. The representative elected from each constituency is the Member of Parliament(MP).In the same way, every state is divided into a certain number of assembly constituencies where they elect their representative called the Member of the Legislative assembly or an MLA. Hence, our constitution requires that each constituency has an estimated equal population living.

At the start of NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Civics Chapter 3, we looked into the example of electoral practice in Haryana. Lok Dal won 60 seats which meant that he had won in 60 assembly constituencies in the state, having 60 MLAs in the state assembly.

Reserve Constituencies

A unique system has been designed so that people from the weaker sections of society are given the right to vote. Few constituencies are reserved for people belonging to SC (Schedule Cast) and ST(Schedule tribe). At the moment, in the Lok Sabha, 84 seats are reserved for SC and 47 seats for ST as of 26 January 2019.

Everyone should get an equal opportunity to elect their representatives. In other words, everyone should have one vote, and one vote should have equal value. All citizens above 18, regardless of their caste, can participate in the election.

Who cannot vote? 

In some cases, people with unsound minds or some criminals are not allowed to vote.

Voter's List

As younger people approach their voting age, all those eligible names to vote are put on the 'voters list'. Also, the name of those who moved out of the place or are dead is noted. Every five years, the 'Voters List' list is revised. Voters are given an election photo identity card (EPIC). EPIC can also be used as identity proof.

Nomination Of Candidates

Candidates who wish to contest in action have to fill out a 'nomination form' and provide a 'security deposit'. Moreover, the supreme court has introduced a new system of declaration. In this system, every candidate has to make a legal declaration of the following. 

  • Major criminal cases pending against the candidate
  • Essential details of the candidates and their families. This includes assets and liabilities.
  • The candidates achieve all educational qualifications.

Election campaign

It is necessary to discuss which representative or party will make a better government or which policy will turn out to be a good policy. These discussions take place during election campaigns.

During Election campaigns, political parties focus public attention on significant issues to which the public is attracted and votes accordingly. Given below are successful slogans by different parties in various elections.

  • Garibi hatao - This slogan was given by the Congress party led by Indira Gandhi in the Lok Sabha elections of 1971. 
  • Save democracy- This slogan belonged to the Janata Party under the leadership of Jaya Prakash Narayan in the Lok Sabha election in 1977, which focused on restoring civil liberties.
  • Land to the tiller - The slogan used in West Bengal assembly elections held in 1977 by the Left Front.
  • Protect the self-respect of the Telugus - The slogan was given by NT Rama Rao, the leader of the Telugu Desam Party, in the Andhra Pradesh assembly elections in 1983.

Elections law

Every party and candidate dissolves a fair and equal chance to compete in election campaigns. Here are some rules according to the elections law

No party your candidate can

  • Bribe voters
  • Appeal to them in the name of religion
  • Take advantage of government resources for election
  • Spend over 25 lakhs or ten lakhs in a constituency for a Lok Sabha election or assembly election, respectively.

Code Of Conduct 

The Code of conduct model is to be followed by all political parties.

No party your candidate can-

  • Exploit place of worship for election propaganda
  • Use of vehicles, aircraft and officials belonging to the government
  • Once elections are declared, no ministers can leave foundation stones on any projects, make any significant policy decisions or provide public facilities.

Polling and counting votes

A person whose name is on the voting list can go to the nearby polling booth situated in a local school or a government office.

These days,Electronic Voting Machines are used to record votes, unlike a ballot paper sheet with the names of the contesting candidates. All the EVMs are sealed once the polling is over and taken to a secure place. The votes are counted, and the candidate who secures the highest number of votes forms the next government.

What makes an election in India democratic

  • Newspapers and television report some unfair practices in elections.
  • Exclusion of genuine names and addition of false names in the voter's list
  • Misuse of government facilities by the ruling party
  • The exploitation of money by wealthy candidates or parties
  • Fraud to increase voters on polling day

Independent election commission

Why is the election commission powerful?

  • EC takes decisions and controls every conduct of the election, including the declaration of results.
  • Executes the Code of conduct and punishes any candidate that violates it
  • EC orders government to follow guidelines that prevent the use of government power
  • Those who are Government officers work under the control of the Election Commission on election duty

Popular participation In India

  • Voter turnout figures usually measure participation in the election. In India, the turnout has remained stable or gone up.
  • Compared to Western democracy, India receives a more significant proportion of votes from poor, illiterate and underprivileged people.
  • Ordinary people show more importance to elections as they feel that their vote matters.
  • During the years, the number of voters have increased in election-related activities.

Acceptance of the election outcome

  • Ruling parties lose elections at the state and national levels, while an incumbent elected representative seldom loses in the US.
  • Candidates who spend a lot of money on buying votes often lose.
  •  People's verdicts affect the electoral outcomes.

Challenges to Free and Fair Elections

  • Wealthy candidates enjoy unfair means over smaller parties
  • Candidates with criminal connections secure a permit from major parties
  • Some families dominate political parties
  • Elections provide little choice to ordinary citizens
  • When compared to bigger parties, smaller parties suffer a huge blow.

The website Extramarks provides the best unique solutions for Class 9 Civics Chapter 3.

NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Civics Chapter 3 Exercise &  Solutions

You can visit the Extramarks website for NCERT Solutions Class 9 Civics Chapter 3. It consists of explanations of essential concepts and step by step solutions. 

The importance of elections, voting rights and how elections are conducted are covered in NCERT solutions for Class 9 Civics Chapter 3. It is advisable to revise the chapter more than once to understand it thoroughly. To refer to exercise questions and answers of NCERT Solutions for Class 9 Civics Chapter 3, select the link below.

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Q.1 Which of the following statements about the reasons for conducting elections is 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.

Ans.

c. Elections enable people to evaluate the performance of the judiciary

Q.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.

Ans.

a. India has the largest number of voters in the world.

Q.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 the society
b. Some constituencies are reserved for SCs and STs so that ii. everyone has equal opportunity to elect their representatives
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

Ans.

a – iv;

b – i;

c – ii;

d – iii;

Q.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.

Ans. The sequence of election related activities is as follows –

  1. Making of voters’ list
  2. Announcing election schedule
  3. Releasing election manifestos
  4. Election campaign
  5. Filing nomination
  6. Casting of votes
  7. Ordering of re-poll
  8. Counting of votes
  9. Declaration of election results

Q.5 Surekha is an officer in-charge of ensuring free and fair elections in an assembly constituency in a state. Describe what she should focus on for each of the following stages of election:

(a) Election campaign

(b) Polling day

(c) Counting day

Ans.

(a) Surekha will have to focus on various duties such as ensure that –

  • candidates do not bribe or threaten voters
  • expenditure limit is not crossed by a candidate
  • candidates do not use caste or religion to appeal for votes
  • they do not use worship place for campaign or use any government resources

(b) On the polling day, Surekha will have to crosscheck the voters’ list and check ID proofs of the voters. She will have to ensure that booth capturing does not take place. She will have to make sure that the election is free and fair in all respects.

(c) Surekha will have to supervise the counting process. She will have to make sure that representatives of all the political parties are present while the counting is going on. This will ensure that no malpractices take place during counting.

Q.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 percent) in the
House of Representatives Population of US
Blacks 8 13
Hispanics 5 13
Whites 86 70

Ans. Blacks and Hispanics should be given reservation in the US Congress as per their percentage in the US population. The table clearly shows that Blacks and Hispanics are under-represented in the House of Representatives as compared to the Whites.

Q.7 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.

Ans.

(a) This is the wrong conclusion.

Reasons –

  1. EC implements the Code of Conduct and punishes any candidate or party that violates it.
  2. During election, EC can order the government to follow certain guidelines, to prevent use and misuse of governmental power to enhance its chances to win the election.

b. This is the right conclusion.

Reasons –

  1. In the last 50 years, voter turnout in Europe and America has decreased, but in India the turnout has either remained stable or increased.
  2. Interest of voters in election related activities has been increasing over the years.

c. This is the wrong conclusion.

Reasons –

  1. Ruling parties routinely lose elections both at the national and state level.
  2. Candidates who spend a lot of money or have a criminal background often lose elections.

d. This is the right conclusion.

Reasons –

  1. Some candidates manage to win elections because of money power.
  2. In some parts of the country, candidates with criminal backgrounds manage to contest and win elections.

Q.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?

Ans. This decision is not against the democratic principles. Torturing wife and practicing untouchability are serious crimes. People involved in these crimes cannot ensure security to women and the ‘low castes’ if voted to power.

As per recent Supreme Court directions, a person with serious criminal cases pending against him/her has to make legal declaration about the cases in detail.

Q.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 and 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.

Ans.

(a) The Election Commission in India ensures that representatives of each candidate are present during counting of votes. In the same way, the election conducting body in Nigeria should also ensure that representatives of each candidate are present at the time of counting.

(b) The election conducting body in Fiji should set up an enquiry into the case and debar the candidate or party involved in distributing such pamphlets.

(c) There should be a single election commission on the lines of India. It should be free from political influence and should be responsible for conducting elections in all the states of America.

Q.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 names of 20 lakh fake voters.

(d) The hoodlums of a political party were moving with guns, physically preventing supporters of other political parties to meet the voters and attacking meetings of other parties.

Ans.

(a) After announcement of election, it is not legal to announce policy decisions according to Code of Conduct. The minister should be immediately taken to task by the Election Commission.

(b) The election commission must ensure that all political parties are given equal opportunity to appear on Doordarshan and All India Radio. EC should take action against ruling party if it is misusing media.

(c) The presence of the fake voters means that the elections were rigged by the authorities who prepared the electoral rolls. The election commission should supervise preparation of fresh electoral rolls.

(d) By using hoodlums, the political party is terrorizing its opponents. The election commission should order the arrest of the hoodlums and bar the party from the elections.

Q.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.

Ans.

(a) The statement is wrong because the policy of secret ballot ensures that a person can vote for whoever he/she wants. Women are fully capable of taking decisions on their own and choosing the right candidate.

(b) Competition works as both deterrent and motivator for the political candidates. A fear of losing the election and a motivation for winning the elections works in favour of people.

(c) Educational qualification is not required to understand people’s needs, and to represent their interests. Therefore, our constitution does not mention any such minimum qualification to compete in elections.

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