What is the system of election to Lok Sabha?
Q. Which of the following is/are true regarding elections to the Lok Sabha?
1) Constitution ensures uniformity of representation between the different states as well as between the different constituencies in the same state.
2) Delimitation Commission Acts were enacted in 1972, 1992, 2002 etc.
3) 87th Amendment Act of 2003 provided for the delimitation of constituencies on the basis of 2001 census.- Published on 02 Mar 17
b. 1, 2
c. 2, 3
d. 1, 3
ANSWER: 1, 3
Territorial Constituencies -
- For the purpose of holding direct elections to the Lok Sabha, each state is divided into territorial constituencies.
- Each state is allotted a number of seats in the Lok Sabha in such a manner that the ratio between that number and its population is the same for all states.
- This provision does not apply to a state having a population of less than six millions.
- Each state is divided into territorial constituencies in such a manner that the ratio between the population of each constituency and the number of seats allotted to it is the same throughout the state.
The Constitution ensures that there is uniformity of representation in two respects -
(a) between the different states; and
(b) between the different constituencies in the same state.
- The expression ‘population’ means the population as ascertained at the preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published.
Re-adjustment after each Census -
After every census, a readjustment is to be made in -
(a) allocation of seats in the Lok Sabha to the states, and
(b) division of each state into territorial constituencies. Parliament is empowered to determine the authority and the manner in which it is to be made.
- Accordingly, the Parliament has enacted the Delimitation Commission Acts in 1952, 1962, 1972 and 2002 for this purpose.
- The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 froze the allocation of seats in the Lok Sabha to the states and the division of each state into territorial constituencies till the year 2000 at the 1971 level.
- This ban on readjustment was extended for another 25 years (i.e., up to year 2026) by the 84th Amendment Act of 2001, with the same objective of encouraging population limiting measures.
- The 84th Amendment Act of 2001 also empowered the government to undertake readjustment and rationalization of territorial constituencies in the states on the basis of the population figures of 1991 census.
- Later, the 87th Amendment Act of 2003 provided for the delimitation of constituencies on the basis of 2001 census and not 1991 census.
- However, this can be done without altering the number of seats allotted to each state in the Lok Sabha.
Reservation of Seats for SCs and STs -
- The Constitution provides for the reservation of seats for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the Lok Sabha on the basis of population ratios.
- Originally, this reservation was to operate for ten years (i.e., up to 1960), but it has been extended continuously since then by 10 years each time.
- Under the 95th Amendment Act of 2009, this reservation is to last until 2020.
- Though seats are reserved for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, they are elected by all the voters in a constituency, without any separate electorate.
- A member of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes is also not debarred from contesting a general (non-reserved) seat.
- The 84th Amendment Act of 2001 provided for re-fixing of the reserved seats on the basis of the population figures of 1991 census.
- 87th Amendment Act of 2003 provided for the re-fixing on the basis of 2001 census.