When we talk of Parliament, it means Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and President. That is, these three together form the Parliament, That is why it is necessary to understand these three to understand Parliament.
All three are covered in separate articles, read all. In this article, we will discuss the Lok Sabha in a simple and easy way, and try to understand its various important aspects.
What is Lok Sabha?
The Lok Sabha is an assembly of the general public where representatives elected by direct voting sit. Each representative comes from a specific geographical area called a constituency. Each constituency is a specific geographical area allocated on the basis of population to the states and union territories. The winning candidates represent a particular constituency and sit in the Parliament and play an important role in the legislative or executive process.
Each member is called an MP (whose number is currently 543) and all these MPs together are called legislature. One of these MPs is elected and made the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. Who is the head of the Lok Sabha and its representatives and plays an important role in the conduct of the business of the Lok Sabha.
After the general election, the leader of the political party with the majority party is appointed by the President as the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister elects some MPs from his party and assigns him the workload of various ministries. These group of ministers are called council of ministers and they are the real executive or government.
|Lok Sabha Speaker||Hindi||English|
|Rajya Sabha: Constitution, Powers||Hindi||English|
Composition of Lok Sabha
The provisions relating to the composition of the Lok Sabha are mentioned in Article 81. The Lok Sabha, also known as the lower house, is made up of representatives of the people elected through direct election by the people on the basis of adult voting.
The maximum number of Lok Sabha has been fixed at 552 in the Constitution, out of which 530 are for the States and 20 for the Union Territories. Along with this arrangements were also made for two Anglo-Indian community members.
If we look at the situation till January 2020, there used to be 545 members in the Lok Sabha. Out of which 530 members used to come by electing from the states (the quota of members coming from the states is also 530 only). 13 members used to come by electing from the Union Territories but the maximum number of members coming from the Union Territories is 20 i.e. 7 members were not elected yet. And two members came from the Anglo-Indian community nominated by the President.
| The concept of Anglo-Indian has been abolished by the 104th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2019 in January 2020 . This means that no longer 2 Anglo-Indians will be nominated by the President. [ Understand Anglo-Indian ]
Talking about now, 530 members are elected from the states as before, and out of the 20 union territories, 13 members come after electing them as before, so now a total of 543 seats are in the Lok Sabha i.e. 543 members are currently in the Lok Sabha.
[The question may come in your mind that now that Jammu and Kashmir has also become a union territory, then how will it be managed? So there is no clarity on this for now, right now the delimitation work is also going on there, so everything will definitely become clear in the coming time.]
Features of Lok Sabha
The biggest feature of the Lok Sabha is that it is a meeting of the people, that is, people send their representatives here through direct voting. Every citizen of India who is above 18 years of age and who has not been disqualified under the provisions of the Constitution or any law, has the right to vote. Before 1988, the voting age was 21 years, but by the 61st Constitutional Amendment Act, 1988, the voting age was reduced to 18 years. Apart from this, it also has many features which are as follows:
Lok Sabha election system
The various aspects related to the Lok Sabha election system are as follows:
Territorial Constituencies – As mentioned above, the states are divided into territorial constituencies for the direct election to the Lok Sabha. how it is divided; There are two provisions in the Constitution in this regard which are mentioned in Article 81(2).
(A). The allocation of seats in the Lok Sabha shall be made to each State in such a manner that the ratio of the number of seats to the population of that State is, as far as practicable, the same for all the States.
This means that if Bihar has 40 seats, then one seat represents almost as many people as Uttar Pradesh (where there are 80 seats).
You can calculate it if you want. But keep in mind that the population is to be taken as 1971 and it will work till 2026. Because firstly by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act 1976, the allocation of seats in the Lok Sabha to the states and the division of territorial constituencies of each state were fixed on the basis of the 1971 census till the year 2000.
This restriction was fixed by the 84th Constitutional Amendment Act 2001, by another 25 years till 2026. That is, till 2026, the state as it is now will remain the same and will run on the basis of population of 1971.
(Remember one thing here that this provision does not apply to those states whose population is less than 60 lakhs.)
Why the 1971 population is taken, why the current one is not, it has been well explained in the article on the presidential election, you must read it.
(b). Each State is divided into territorial constituencies in such a way that the ratio between the population of each constituency and the number of seats allotted to it is, as far as practicable, the same throughout the State. (Only one seat is allotted for a constituency)
Note- Till the year 2000, the 1971 census was used for regional constituencies as well. (Due to 42nd Constitutional Amendment) But it was shifted to 1991 census by 84th Constitutional Amendment Act 2001. Again in 2003, through the 87th Constitutional Amendment, it was shifted to the 2001 census.
not adopting proportional representation
Talking about the Rajya Sabha, the proportional representation system was adopted for the elections there, but this system was not adopted in the Lok Sabha. Rather, the regional representation system was made the basis of elections.
Under the regional representation system, there are several constituencies and one representative is elected from each constituency. Several candidates contest for that area, the candidate who gets the most votes is declared the winner. This method also has several drawbacks. Like if there are 9 candidates and let’s say there are total 100 votes. If 8 gets 11-11 votes and 9th person gets 12 votes then still he is the winner, it means out of 100 people only 12 people like 9th person still he will represent whole 100.
Moreover, there is no guarantee of representation of minorities in this system whereas proportional representation system does not have these problems at least. Under this system all sections of the people get representation according to their numbers. Even the representation of minorities is protected here.
Then the question comes, why have we not adopted proportional representation? In fact, some members of the Constituent Assembly had advocated proportional representation system for the election of Lok Sabha members but it was not adopted basically for two reasons. 1. The proportional representation system is a very complex system and at that time the literacy rate in the country was also low, so people do not understand this system, how does it happen? Even today educated people do not understand it properly. 2. Threat of instability of Parliament due to multi-party system.
Apart from this, there are many drawbacks of proportional representation system as well:-
1. It is a very expensive system and there is no scope for bye-elections, 2. It reduces the affinity between voters and representatives, 3. It promotes the importance of party system but reduces the importance of voters.
Reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Tribes –
We have just read above that minorities do not get proper representation in the regional electoral system, to eliminate this, seats in the Lok Sabha have been reserved for scheduled castes and tribes on the basis of population ratio.
Though seats have been reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, they are elected by all the voters of the constituency. Members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes also have the right to contest elections from the general constituency.
The seats reserved in the 84th Amendment Act, 2001 were re-allocated (like general seats) on the basis of the 1991 census. The reserved seats in the 87th Amendment Act 2003 were re-allocated on the basis of 2001 census instead of 1991.
term of Lok Sabha
Unlike the Rajya Sabha, the Lok Sabha is not a continuance body. Normally its term is for five years from the first meeting held after the general election, after which it dissolves itself. However, the President has the right to dissolve it at any time before five years. It cannot be challenged in court.
Apart from this, the term of Lok Sabha can be extended by one year at a time in case of emergency. But its extension cannot in any case exceed a period of six months after the end of the emergency.
Through this article an attempt has been made to clear the basics of Lok Sabha. The link of Lok Sabha Speaker and other articles related to Parliament is given below, read it for better understanding. Lok Sabha Speaker