The election will be conducted using the Electronic voting machine (EVM), as was done with the 2004 election. There are 1,368,430 voting machines available across the country.
The complete EVM consists mainly of two units –
(a) Control Unit and
(b) Balloting Unit with cable for connecting it with Control unit.
A Balloting Unit caters up to 16 candidates. Four Balloting Units linked together catering in all to 64 candidates can be used with one control unit. The control unit is kept with the Presiding Officer and the Balloting Unit is used by the voter for polling.
The Balloting Unit of EVM is a small box-like device, on top of which each candidate and his/her election symbol is listed like a big ballot paper. Against each candidate’s name, a red LED and a blue button is provided. The voter polls his vote by pressing the blue button against the name of his desired candidate.
There are 828,804 polling stations in the country, a 20% increase over the 2004 election.
The electoral rolls had to be completely updated because of the delimitation that took effect from 2008. The process of updating the electoral rolls is expected to continue until the last date of filing nominations. 714 million people are eligible to vote in 2009, up 6.4% (43 million) from 2004.
Full name: Lal Krishna Advani
The gist: Advani is the current leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha and the NDA’s official prime ministerial candidate for the 2009 elections.
Title: Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha
Constituency: Gandhinagar, Gujarat
Party: Bharatiya Janata Party
Date and place of birth: 8 November 1927; Karachi
Profession: Journalist, trade unionist, diplomat
Education: Educated at St. Patricks High School, Karachi; D.G. National College, Hyderabad, Sindh (now in Pakistan) and Government Law College, Mumbai
Resume: Advani’s political career began as a member of the RSS in the early 1940s. He became a leader and eventually president of the newly formed BJP in the 1980s, and is credited with helping to make the party a formidable force in Indian politics. Advani was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1970, and re-elected three times. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1989 and re-elected four times. He became leader of the opposition after the 2004 general election.
Personal: Advani is married to Kamla Advani with one son and one daughter.
Hobbies: Books, theatre, cinema, sports and music
The gist: Manmohan Singh is the 17th and current prime minister of India, and the first Sikh to hold the position. Singh was named to the post after the INC won a majority in the Lok Sabha after the 2004 general elections.
Title: Prime Minister of India; Union Minister for Finance
Party: Indian National Congress
Date and place of birth: 26 September, 1932; Village Gah (West Punjab)
Profession: Economist, politician
Education: Stood first in BA (Hons), Economics, Panjab University, Chandigarh, 1952; stood first in MA (Economics), Panjab University, Chandigarh, 1954; Wright’s Prize for distinguished performance at St John’s College, Cambridge, 1955 and 1957; Wrenbury scholar, University of Cambridge, 1957; DPhil (Oxford), DLitt (Honoris Causa); PhD thesis on India’s export competitiveness.
Resume: At the start of his career, Singh was a professor at Panjab University and the Delhi School of Economics. In 1971, Dr. Singh joined the Government of India as economic advisor in the Commerce Ministry. He became chief economic advisor in the Ministry of Finance in 1972. Other positions he has held include secretary in the Ministry of Finance; Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission; Governor of the Reserve Bank of India; Advisor of the Prime Minister; and Chairman of the University Grants Commission. Dr. Singh has been a Member of India’s Upper House of Parliament (the Rajya Sabha) since 1991. He was Leader of the Opposition between 1998 and 2004.
Personal: Dr. Singh and his wife Mrs. Gursharan Kaur have three daughters, the youngest of whom is an attorney for the ACLU in New York.
Hobbies: Reading and writing
Full name: Kumari Mayawati
The gist: Mayawati is serving her fourth term as leader of the largest state in the country and is president of the Bahujan Samaj Party, which was created to represent those at the bottom of the caste system.
Title: Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh
Party: Bahujan Samaj Party
Date and place of birth: 15 January, 1956; Delhi
Profession: Politician, social worker, lawyer
Education: B.A., B.Ed., LL.B., education at Kalindi College, University of Delhi (Delhi) and University of Meerut (Uttar Pradesh)
Resume: Mayawati was a teacher in Delhi prior to her entry into politics in the early 1980s. She has been a part of BSP from its inception in 1984. She won her first seat in the Lok Sabha in 1989 and was re-elected three times. She was elected twice to the Rajya Sabha, in 1994 and 2004. She served three stints as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in 1995, 1997 and 2002-03 before being sworn in to her fourth term in May 2007.
Personal: Mayawati is not married.
Hobbies: Reading, gardening, urban development, planning and labour welfare.
Full name: Sharad Chandra Govindrao Pawar
The gist: Pawar is president of the Nationalist Congress Party, which he co-founded in 1999 after a split from Congress. A minister in the UPA-led government, Pawar is a leader in Maharashtra politics.
Title: Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Consumer Affairs: Food & Public Distribution, Government of India
Constituency: Baramati, Maharashtra
Party: Nationalist Congress Party
Date and place of birth: 12 December 1940; Baramati, Dist. Pune (Maharashtra)
Profession: Agriculturalist, politician
Resume: Pawar entered into politics in his twenties and became a Congress Party MLA in the Maharashtra legislative assembly in 1967. He has served four terms as chief minister of Maharasthra, and six terms as a Lok Sabha MP. His relationship with Congress has been fickle; he broke with the party in 1999 to co-found the Nationalist Congress Party. He is currently the party’s president and a cabinet member in the UPA-led ruling government.
Personal: Pawar is married to Pratibha Pawar with one daughter, Supriya Sule, who is an MP in the Rajya Sabha.
Hobbies: Reading and traveling
Full name: Haradanahalli Doddegowda Deve Gowda
The gist: Former Prime Minister Deve Gowda leads the Janata Dal (Secular) party and the Left Front coalition, a group of parties that are unaligned with the NDA and UPA coalitions.
Title: Leader of the Janata Dal (Secular) party; 14th Prime Minister of India
Party: Janata Dal (Secular)
Date and place of birth: 18 May, 1933; Haradanahalli village of Holenarasipura Taluk, Hassan District (Karnataka)
Education: Degree in civil engineering
Resume: Gowda joined the Congress Party in 1953 and was a member until 1962. He won his first seat as an independent in the Karnataka assembly in 1962, was re-elected to three more consecutive terms and rose through the ranks to become chief minister of Karnataka in 1994. He left this post to become Prime Minister of India from June 1996 to April 1997 under the United Front coalition-led government. Gowda is president of the Janata Dal (Secular) party and leader of the Third Front coalition.
Personal: Gowda is married to Chennamma and is the father of two daughters and four sons.
It seems that most of the Software firms and private firms did not declared a holiday thereby not allowing their employees to use their franchise.
This is illegal as per the “Representation of People act 1951” and the companies can be fined.
1 [135B Grant of paid holiday to employees on the day of poll.—
(1) Every person employed in any business, trade, industrial undertaking or any other establishment and entitled to vote at an election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of a State shall, on the day of poll, be granted a holiday.
(2) No deduction or abatement of the wages of any such person shall be made on account of a holiday having been granted in accordance with sub-section (1) and if such person is employed on the basis that he would not ordinarily receive wages for such a day, he shall nonetheless be paid for such day the wages he would have drawn had not a holiday been granted to him on that day.
(3) If an employer contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) or sub-section (2), then such employer shall be punishable with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees.
(4) This section shall not apply to any elector whose absence may cause danger or substantial loss in respect of the employment in which he is engaged.
135C. Liquor not to be sold, given or distributed on polling day.—
(1) No spirituous, fermented or intoxicating liquors or other substances of a like nature shall be sold, given or distributed at a hotel, eating house, tavern, shop or
any other place, public or private, within a polling area during the period of forty-eight hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of the poll for any election in that polling area.
(2) Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1), shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both.
(3) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section, the sprituous, fermented or intoxicating liquors or other substances of a like nature found in his possession shall be liable to confiscation and the same shall be disposed of in such manner as may be prescribed.]
136. Other offences and penalties there for.—
(1) A person shall be guilty of an electoral offence if at any election he—
(a) Fraudulently defaces or fraudulently destroys any nomination paper; or
(b) Fraudulently defaces, destroys or removes any list, notice or other document affixed by or under the authority of a returning officer; or
(c) Fraudulently defaces or fraudulently destroys any ballot paper or the official mark on any ballot paper or any declaration of identity or official envelop used in connection with voting by postal ballot; or
(d) Without due authority supplies any ballot paper to any person 2[or receives any ballot paper from any person or is in possession of any ballot paper] ; or
(e) Fraudulently puts into any ballot box anything other than the ballot paper which he is authorised by law to put in; or
(f) Without due authority destroys, takes, opens or otherwise interferes with any ballot box or ballot papers then in use for the purposes of the election; or
(g) Fraudulently or without due authority, as the case may be, attempts to do any of the foregoing acts or wilfully aids or abets the doing of any such acts.
(2) Any person guilty of an electoral offence under this section shall,—
(a) if he is a returning officer or an assistant returning officer or a presiding officer at a polling station or any other officer or clerk employed on official duty in connection with the election, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both;
(b) if he is any other person, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine or with both.
(3) For the purposes of this section, a person shall be deemed to be on official duty if his duty is to take part in the conduct of an election or part of an election including the counting of votes or to be responsible after an election for the used ballot papers and other documents in connection with such election, but the expression “official duty ” shall not include any duty imposed otherwise than by or under this Act 3* * *.
4[(4) An offence punishable under sub-section (2) shall be cognizable.]
137. [Prosecution regarding certain offences.] Rep. by the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act, 1966 (47 of 1966), s. 61.
138. [Amendment of Act 5 of 1898.] Rep. by the Repealing and Amending Act, 1957 (36 of 1957),
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