In the democratic setup of India, there are three main types of Elections in Rajasthan.
- First, election to the Parliament – MP’s
- Second, election to legislative assembly – MLA’s
- Third, election to Local Bodies – PRI’s & ULB’s
While first and second elections are conducted by Election Commission of India (Constitutional Body article 324), election to local bodies are conducted by State Election Commission (again Constitutional body).
Elections conducted by Election Commission of India
Under Article 324(1) of the Constitution of India, the Election Commission of India, is vested with the power of superintendence, direction and control of conducting the elections to both Houses of Parliament. Detailed provisions are made under the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and the rules made there under this Act.
Additionally, Article 324 (1) also vests in the Election Commission of India with the powers of superintendence, direction and control of the elections to the State Legislature. Detailed provisions of these elections are also made under the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and the rules made there under this Act.
- At present, the Election Commission of India is a three-member body, with one Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
- At State level, the Chief Electoral Officer of the State supervises the election work under the overall superintendence, direction and control of the Election Commission.
- At District level, the District Election Officer (DEO) supervises the election work of a district.
- At Constituency level (Parliamentary or Assembly), the Returning Officer of a parliamentary or assembly constituency is responsible for the conduct of elections.
- On a Polling Station within the Constituency, the Presiding Officer with the assistance of polling officers conducts the poll.
Additionally, Under section 20B of the Representation of the People Act 1951, the Election Commission of India nominates officers of Government as Observers (General Observers and Election Expenditure Observers) for parliamentary and assembly constituencies.
The Electoral Registration officer (ERO) is responsible for the preparation of electoral rolls for a parliamentary / assembly constituency.
Parliamentary Constituencies in Rajasthan:
Lok Sabha Constituencies:
- There are 25 Lok Sabha Constituencies in State of Rajasthan.
Rajya Sabha Seats from Rajasthan:
- There are 10 Rajya Sabha seats from Rajasthan.
- Members to Rajya Sabha are elected by the Legislative Assembly of States and Union territories by means of Single transferable vote through Proportional representation.
Legislative Assembly Constituencies in Rajasthan
Currently, there are a total of 200 Assembly constituencies in Rajasthan, which are represented by 200 MLAs or Members of Legislative Assembly.
Elections conducted by State Election Commission
The Rajasthan State Election Commission constituted under the Constitution (73rd & 74th – Article 243K ) Amendments Act, 1992 for each State / Union Territory are vested with the powers of conduct of elections to the Corporations, Muncipalities, Zilla Parishads, District Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis, Gram Panchayats and other local bodies. It is independent of the Election Commission of India.
The SEC is a single member Commission headed by the State Election Commissioner. It has a Secretary who is also the Chief Electoral Officer for the State. The Commission discharges its Constitutional duty by way of preparing electoral rolls and holding elections for Panchayati Raj Institutions as well as for Municipal bodies.
Elections in PRI’s
Elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions (P.R.Is) are being held in Rajasthan since 1960. The first election was conducted in 1960 by the Panchayat Department. Thereafter, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th elections in the years 1965, 1978, 1981 and 1988 were conducted by the Election Department.
The 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th general elections to the PRIs were conducted by the SEC in 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015. The 11th general election of 21 Districts have been conducted by the SEC in September – October, 2020.
Elections to Municipal bodies
Elections to Municipal bodies are being held in Rajasthan since 1960 by local self department. The 1st election was conducted by Election Department in 1963. Thereafter in some group of Municipal bodies elections were conducted by the Election Department in 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1982, 1986, .
General Elections to 45 Municipal bodies were conducted by the SEC in 1994 and to 137 Municipal bodies in 1995. Thereafter the general election to these bodies were again held in 1999-2000, 2004-2005, 2009-2010 and 2014-2015. The last general election for 91 Municipal bodies have been conducted by the SEC in January – February, 2021.