We have universal adult franchise in our country. This gives everyone above the age of eighteen years, the Right to vote. As responsible citizens we should all exercise this right.

However, many people neglect voting in the elections. Some are too lazy or do not have a personal interest in the matter. Others are indifferent and feel their vote will not make any difference to the outcome. Sometimes they do not know enough about the candidates and cannot decide who would be the right choice. The unfortunate result is that, often not even fifty per cent of the people cast their votes. They are not aware that exercising their franchise is also their duty as citizens. If they do not involve themselves in the electoral process, dishonest and self-seeking candidates are likely to get elected.

The voter also has the problem of having to choose between a large numbers of people. This is the time that a citizen’s sense of commitment to the country’s welfare and political awareness acquires great importance. It is every voter’s duty to make it his or her business to find out all about each candidates’ record of achievement in public life, personal honesty, and sense of service. The voter should also be well informed about the programmes and objectives of het various parties. He or she should be able to judge which parties and their candidates are genuinely committed to working for the country’s welfare and whether they have fulfilled earlier election promises or not. Each vote is precious and should only be cast after due consideration.

Write a few lines on the life of any candidate who contested the State Legislature elections from your region.

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Very often candidates mislead voters. They appeal to caste, religious or regional loyalties instead of projecting real issues. Voters also get influenced and give these facts undue importance. But this is not democratic representation and harms the country by dividing people along these lines. Candidates who use such methods tend to be self-seeking people who only with to further their own interests by attaining power. Thus, the cause of the country’s welfare is not served.

Other methods are also used to influence voters. Like they are offered conveyance to be taken to the polling booths, even given food and provided with other services. The use of such methods is unfair and against the law. Voters have to be politically aware and strong enough not to be taken in by these offers.

Suggest two ways that would help voters to check the self-seeking candidates from attaining power.

Political parties also resort to dishonest means to make the candidates switch form one party to another after elections. It is the duty of every successful candidate to work for the welfare of the people of the constituency form where he or she is elected. The candidate who defects shows that he or she is not sincere and is only working for his or her own interests and not those of the public. Defections lower the moral standard of our political life. For this reason, a law was passed by our Parliament in 1985, banning defections.

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All this shows that as citizens of a democratic country, it is our duty to guard and uphold the system of representative democracy. We should work hard and cooperate with each other to keep our democracy functioning properly. If we do not do so then we cannot complain that we are not being governed properly. We have to see that our representatives are honest, sincere, and dedicated people and not get influenced by narrow considerations of caste, religion of region. We should also take keen interest in the political life of our country; educate others and ourselves about its working.