In recent times, Bye-elections took place for a Lok Sabha constituency in Punjab and four Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Odisha.
GS II: Polity and Governance
Dimensions of the Article
- About bye-elections
- Bypolls, also called bye-elections or special elections, are conducted to fill vacant seats in legislative bodies.
- Bypolls are important in the electoral cycle to address unforeseen vacancies.
- The primary purpose of bypolls is to ensure timely representation of the affected constituency or district in the legislative body.
- Bypolls are held when a seat in the legislature becomes vacant due to death, resignation, disqualification, or expulsion of a sitting member.
- Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 mandates the Election Commission to fill the casual vacancies in the Houses of Parliament and State Legislatures through by-elections within six months from the date of occurrence of the vacancy, provided that the remainder of the term of a member in relation to a vacancy is one year or more.
- No need to hold bypolls if the remaining term of the Lok Sabha is less than one year from the date of occurrence of vacancies.
- Bypolls serve as a significant indicator of the popularity and strength of political parties.
- Political parties can use bypolls to measure public sentiment and assess their support base.
- The outcomes of by-elections can have an impact on the ruling government’s majority.
- If the ruling party loses a substantial number of bypoll seats, it may lead to a loss of the government’s stability and decision-making.
- Bypolls offer a platform for political parties to experiment with their electoral strategies and refine their campaign approaches.
- Parties can test various aspects such as candidate selection, campaign themes, and messaging during by-polls that can influence their strategies in subsequent elections.
-Source: The Hindu