Elections in Bihar

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Elections in Bihar state, India are conducted in accordance with the Constitution of India. The Assembly of Bihar creates laws regarding the conduct of local body elections unilaterally while any changes by the state legislature to the conduct of state level elections need to be approved by the Parliament of India. In addition, the state legislature may be dismissed by the Parliament according to Article 356 of the Indian Constitution and President's rule may be imposed.

Bihar electoral system[edit]

National level representation[edit]

Lok Sabha delegation[edit]

Rajya Sabha delegation[edit]

Both the houses of the state legislature jointly nominate Members of Parliament to the Rajya Sabha.

State level representation[edit]

Main article: Bihar State Assembly

Legislative assembly[edit]

Bihar legislature assembly has 243 seats. For the election of its members, the state is divided into 243 Assembly Constituencies in which the candidate securing the largest number of votes is declared elected. In the Bihar Assembly Elections, 2010, the National Democratic Alliance formed the state government having secured a simple majority of 206 seats.[1]

Legislative Council[edit]

The upper house known as the Legislative Council has lesser powers than the Assembly and several of its members are nominated by the Assembly. Others are elected from various sections of the society like Graduates and Teachers. Currently the Legislative Council consists of 95 members.

History of elections in Bihar[edit]

Assembly election[edit]

Year Election Total Seat[2] Winner Winner's seat Chief Minister 1st Runner up 2nd Runner up
1951 1st Assembly 276 1931 Flag of India.svg INC 239 Sri Krishna Sinha  ??  ??
1957 2nd Assembly 318 1931 Flag of India.svg INC 210 Sri Krishna Sinha
Deep Narayan Singh
Binodanand Jha
 ??  ??
1962 3rd Assembly 264 1931 Flag of India.svg INC 185 Binodanand Jha
Krishana Ballabh Sahay
 ??  ??
1967 4th Assembly 318 1931 Flag of India.svg INC 128 Mahamaya Prasad Sinha,JKD
Satish Prasad Singh,INC
B. P. Mandal,INC
Bhola Paswan Shashtri,INC(O)
1969 5th Assembly 318 none None Harihar Singh,INC
Bhola Paswan Shashtri,INC(O)
President's rule
Daroga Prasad Rai,INC
Karpuri Thakur,Socialist Party
Bhola Paswan Shashtri,INC
 ??  ??
1972 6th Assembly 318 Flag of the Indian National Congress.svg INC 167 Kedar Pandey
Abdul Gafoor
Jagannath Mishra
 ??  ??
1977 7th Assembly 318 No flag.svg Janata Party 214 Karpuri Thakur
Ram Sunder Das
 ??  ??
1980 8th Assembly 324 Flag of the Indian National Congress.svg INC 169 Jagannath Mishra
Chandrashekhar Singh
 ??  ??
1985 9th Assembly 324 Flag of the Indian National Congress.svg INC 196 Bindeshwari Dubey
Bhagwat Jha Azad
Satyendra Narayan Singh
Jagannath Mishra
Janata Dal symbol.svg Lok Dal (46) No flag.svg IND[disambiguation needed] (29)
1990 10th Assembly 324 Janata Dal symbol.svg Janata Dal 122 Laloo Prasad Yadav Flag of the Indian National Congress.svg INC (71) BJP (39)
1995 11th Assembly 342 Janata Dal symbol.svg Janata Dal 167 Laloo Prasad Yadav
Rabri Devi
BJP (41) Flag of the Indian National Congress.svg INC (29)
2000 12th Assembly 243 (Excludes Jharkhand) RJD Flag.svg RJD 103 Rabri Devi BJP (39) No flag.svg SAP (28)
2005 13th Assembly 243 None None President's rule NDA (92)
JanataDalUnitedFlag.PNG JD(U) (55)
BJP (37)
RJD Flag.svg RJD (75) with
Flag of the Indian National Congress.svg INC (10)
2005 14th Assembly 243 NDA
JanataDalUnitedFlag.PNG JD(U) (88)
BJP (55)
143 Nitish Kumar RJD Flag.svg RJD (54)
Flag of the Indian National Congress.svg INC (10)
No flag.svg LJP (10)
2010 15th Assembly 243 NDA
JanataDalUnitedFlag.PNG JD(U) (115)
BJP (91)
206 Nitish Kumar
Jitan Ram Manjhi
RJD Flag.svg RJD (22)
No flag.svg LJP(3)
Flag of the Indian National Congress.svg INC (4)

Text-Based :

  • 1995 Total: 324 (including Jharkhand). Janata Dal: 167, BJP: 41, INC: 29. CMs (Lalu Prasad Yadav, Rabri Devi)
  • 2000 Total: 243 (excluding Jharkhand). RJD: 103, BJP+Samata: 39+28 (CM: Rabri Devi)
  • 2005-Feb: Total: 243. JD(U)+BJP: 55+37=92, RJD: 75, INC: 10 (Hung assembly dissolved)
  • 2005-Oct. JD(U)+BJP: 88+55=143, RJD: 54, INC: 10 (CM: Nitish Kumar)
  • 2010: JD(U)+BJP: 115+91=206, RJD: 22, INC: 4 (CM(s): Nitish Kumar, Jitan Ram Manjhi)

Lok Sabha elections[edit]

Araria  · Arrah  · Aurangabad  · Banka  · Begusarai  · Bhagalpur  · Buxar  · Darbhanga  · Gaya  · Gopalganj  · Hajipur  · Jahanabad  · Jamui  · Jhanjharpur  · Karakat  · Katihar  · Khagaria  · Kishanganj  · Madhepura  · Madhubani  · Maharajganj  · Munger  · Muzaffarpur  · Nalanda  · Nawada  · Paschim Champaran  · Pataliputra  · Patna Sahib  · Purnia  · Purvi Champaran  · Samastipur  · Saran  · Sasaram  · Sheohar  · Sitamarhi  · Siwan  · Supaul  · Ujiarpur  · Vaishali  · Valmiki Nagar

  • 1951: Main winner: Congress
  • 1957: Main winner: Congress
  • 1962: Main winner: Indian National Congress: 39 out of 53, Swatantra Party: 7
  • 1967: Main winner: Congress
  • 1971: Main winner: Congress
  • 1977: Total: 54. Janata Party + Alliance: All 54. Congress: Zero.
  • 1980: Total: 54. Congress the main winner with 39. CPI: 5
  • 1984: Congress: 48/54.
  • 1989: Total: 54. Janata Dal + BJP : 32+8, CPI: 4, Congress: 4, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha: 4.
  • 1991: JD: 31/54, CPI: 8, JMM: 6, BJP: 5, Congress: 1.
  • 1996: Janata Dal: 22, BJP: 18, Congress: 2
  • 1998: BJP+Samata alliance: 19+10, RJD (Lalu Yadav's Party): 17, Congress: 4
  • 1999: Total: 54. BJP+JD(U): 23+18, RJD: 7, Congress: 4
  • 2004: Total: 40, after Jharkhand became a separate state. RJD: 22, INC: 3; JD(U)+BJP: 6+5
  • 2009: JD(U)+BJP: 20+12, RJD+Congress: 4+2
  • 2014: BJP+: 31/40 (BJP alone: 22, Paswan's LJP: 6), RJD (Lalu Yadav's party): 4, JD-U (Nitish's party): 2, Congress: 2

History of politics[edit]

Main article: Politics in Bihar

The Election Commission[edit]

Electoral process[edit]

Pre elections[edit]

The Election Commission's Model Code of Conduct enters into force as soon as the notification for polls is issued. This places restrictions on the campaigning by political parties as well as prohibits certain government actions that would unduly influence the election.

Voting day[edit]

The electoral process is the same as in the rest of India with Electronic Voting Machines being used for all Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections.

Post elections[edit]

After the election day, the EVMs are stood stored in a strong room under heavy security. After the different phases of the elections are complete, a day is set to count the votes. The votes are tallied and typically, the verdict is known within hours. The candidate who has mustered the most votes is declared the winner of the constituency.

The party or coalition that has won the most seats is invited by the Governor to form the new government. The coalition or party must prove its majority in the floor of the house (Legislative Assembly) in a vote of confidence by obtaining a simple majority (minimum 50%) of the votes in the House.

Voter registration[edit]

For few cities in Bihar, the voter registration forms can be generated online and submitted to the nearest electoral office.

Absentee voting[edit]

As of now, India does not have an absentee ballot system. Section 19 of The Representation of the People Act (RPA)-1950 [3] allows a person to register to vote if he or she is above 18 years of age and is an ‘ordinary resident’ of the residing constituency i.e. living at the current address for 6 months or longer. Section 20 of the above Act disqualifies a non-resident Indian (NRI) from getting his/her name registered in the electoral rolls. Consequently, it also prevents an NRI from casting his/her vote in elections to the Parliament and to the State Legislatures.

The Representation of the People (Amendment) 2006 Bill was introduced in the Parliament by Shri Hanraj Bharadwaj, Minister of Law and Justice during February 2006 with an objective to amend Section 20 of the RPA-1950 to enable NRIs to vote. Despite the report submitted by the Parliamentary Standing Committee two years ago, the Government has so far failed to act on the recommendations. The Bill was reintroduced in the 2008 budget session of the Parliament to the Lok Sabha. But no action taken once again.

Several civic society organizations have urged the government to amend the RPA act to allow NRI's and people on the move to cast their vote through absentee ballot system.[4][5]

Electoral reforms[edit]

Proposed Electoral Reforms by Election Commission of India


Further reading[edit]

  • Subrata K. Mitra and V.B. Singh. 1999. Democracy and Social Change in India: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the National Electorate. New Delhi: Sage Publications. ISBN 81-7036-809-X (India HB) ISBN 0-7619-9344-4 (U.S. HB).
  • Subrata K. Mitra, Mike Enskat, Clemens Spiess (eds.). 2004. Political Parties in South Asia. Greenwood: Praeger.
  • Subrata K. Mitra/Mike Enskat/V.B. Singh. 2001. India, in: Nohlen, Dieter (Ed.). Elections in Asia and the Pacific: A Data Handbook. Vol. I. Oxford: Oxford University Press

See also[edit]


External links[edit]