Sunday, March 29, 2009

Defranchised by ignorance

Continuing my election related comments ...

While Wikipedia'ing for my last election post, I came upon something curious and something that I'd forgotten after middle school ... elections to Legislative Council.

Quoting from Wikipedia article
The members of the Vidhan Sabha are directly elected by people through adult franchise. The members of the Vidhan Parishat are elected indirectly by members of local bodies, teachers and graduates. There are 76 members of the Vidhan Parishat.
So, what is this bit about graduates ? Just in case I'm wrong, I looked into another wiki article
The size of the Vidhan Parishad cannot be more than one-third the membership of the Vidhan Sabha, the Legislative Assembly (lower house) of that state. But its size cannot be less than 40 except in Jammu and Kashmir where there are 36 by an Act of Parliament. One-sixth of its membership is nominated by the Governor from among persons who have excelled in science, arts, social service and other activities. Another one-third is elected by the local government bodies and one-twelfth by teachers of secondary schools, colleges and universities.

See the absence of any mention of graduates ? So, let us go to the source, the Constitution of India, Article 171, Section 3, Sub-section b
b. as nearly as may be, one-twelfth shall be elected by electorates consisting of persons residing in the State who have been for at least three years graduates of any university in the territory of India or have been for at least three years in possession of qualifications prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament as equivalent to that of a graduate of any such university;

That settles it. As a graduate (post-graduate, actually), I'm eligible to vote. Google searching yielded only one site - which said I could vote.

This is indeed puzzling, because I hadn't heard about it before. Is it because very few states have got bicameral legislature ? I asked my mother who is a graduate and she had no clue.

Is this a big secret or something ? Or am I defranchised because I'm ignorant ?

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At Thursday, 16 July, 2009 at 4:36:00 pm IST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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