By polls to one Lok Sabha, 4 Assembly seats on May 10

Context: The Election Commission of India has announced by polls for one Lok Sabha seat and four Assembly constituencies, to be held on May 10, with results on May 13.

What is By poll or bye election?

  • In India, a by-election (also known as a by poll or bye-election) is an election held to fill a vacancy in the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Indian Parliament) or a state legislative assembly. 
  • These vacancies can occur due to various reasons such as the death, resignation or disqualification of a sitting member of parliament or the state assembly. 
  • By-elections are conducted by the Election Commission of India, which is an independent body responsible for organizing and overseeing elections at various levels of government in India. 
  • By-elections are usually held within six months of the vacancy occurring, although this can vary depending on the specific circumstances. 
  • Candidates from various political parties can contest the by-election, and the winner is elected to fill the vacant seat until the next general election. 
  • By-elections are important as they provide an opportunity for citizens to exercise their right to vote and elect a representative to fill a vacant seat in the legislative assembly or parliament. 
  • They also have the potential to impact the balance of power in parliament or the state assembly, as a single seat can sometimes make a significant difference in the overall composition of the house.

About Representation of the People Act, 1951

The provisions for the actual conduct of elections to the Houses of Parliament and to the House or Houses of the Legislature of each State, the qualifications and disqualifications for the membership of these Houses, the corrupt practices and other election offences, and the decision of election disputes were all left to be made in a subsequent measure. In order to provide for these provisions, the Representation of the People Act, 1951 was enacted. 

Broadly speaking, this Act contains provisions relating to the following electoral matters:

  1. Qualifications and disqualifications for membership of Parliament and State Legislatures. 
  2. Administrative machinery for the conduct of elections
  3. Registration of political parties 
  4. Conduct of elections 
  5. Corrupt practices and electoral offences
  6. Bye-elections and time limit for filling vacancies
  7. Barring the jurisdiction of civil courts

UPSC Prelims 2017 PYQ –

Consider the following statements:

1. The Election Commission of India is a five-member body.

2. Union Ministry of Home Affairs decides the election schedule for the conduct of both general elections and bye elections.

3. Election Commission resolves the disputes relating to splits/mergers of recognised political parties.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 3 only

Ans. (d)

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