THE SCENE AT AN ELECTION BOOTH
Democracy is the government of the people, for the people and by the people. All political power rests in the hands of the people who meet once in five years in India to elect new members of the Lok Sabha which forms the Central Cabinet and runs the Central Government. The party in power elects Prime Minister who forms the Union Cabinet.
To elect the members of the Lok Sabha the people have to go to polling booths where they cast their votes. Only men and women above the age of 18 are entitled to cast their vote. Different parties put up their candidates and there are also independents in the field. People have to show their choice about the candidates. One, who gets the highest number of votes, wins.
Similarly elections are held for State Assemblies, Municipal Committees and even for Village Panchayats. The process of electioneering is the same in all cases.
Polling booths are put up where people go and cast their votes. The people can only vote in the areas to which they belong and where their names are registered as votes. There are tents of different candidates where their agents and supporters sit to help the voters in case they need any. The people who are entitled to vote stand in queues and the polling officers check up their names in the register. Then every voter is given a slip. On the slip he marks a stamp against the name of candidate whom he wants to elect. His finger is marked with indelible ink so that he does not come back for voting again.
With the voting slip in his hand, he goes to the tent where he is quite alone and puts the slip in the box which is sealed so that nobody can temper with it. After putting his slip of paper in the box, he comes out, and his work is over.
Up to 1995 this practice was followed. Since late 90’s the electronic machines are being used and the voter has simply to press the button against the name of the candidate of his choice. The election scene is full of thrill and excitement. There is a lot of hustle and bustle. The candidates and their supporters suffer from the election fever till the last vote is cast.