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.
- 1 Bihar electoral system
- 2 History of elections in Bihar
- 3 History of politics
- 4 The Election Commission
- 5 Electoral process
- 6 Voter registration
- 7 Absentee voting
- 8 Electoral reforms
- 9 Further reading
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Bihar electoral system
National level representation
Lok Sabha delegation
Rajya Sabha delegation
Both the houses of the state legislature jointly nominate Members of Parliament to the Rajya Sabha.
State level representation
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.
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
- 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
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- 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
The Election Commission
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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.
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.
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.
For few cities in Bihar, the voter registration forms can be generated online and submitted to the nearest electoral office.
As of now, India does not have an absentee ballot system. Section 19 of The Representation of the People Act (RPA)-1950  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.
Proposed Electoral Reforms by Election Commission of India
- 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
- List of Assembly constituencies of Bihar
- List of Lok Sabha Constituencies in Bihar
- Elections in India
- 49-O Popularly known as 'No Vote'
- Mohi says:. "Nitish creates two and misses the another record by whisker". BiharDays. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- Representation of the People Act-1950
- Petition for Absentee Voting in Indian Elections
- Non-Resident Indians Voting rights in the upcoming general elections
- Election Commission of India
- Elections in India History and Information
- News Related to 2009 Elections in India
- Social Media Conversations of Indian Elections 2009