Indian Electoral System

The Parliament of India comprises the head of state — the president — and the two Houses which are the legislature. The President of India is elected for a five year term by an electoral college consisting of members of federal and state legislatures. Parliament has two chambers.

The House of the People (Lok Sabha) has 545 members, 543 members elected for a five year term in single-seat constituencies and 2 members appointed to represent the Anglo-Indian community. The two unelected members are a relic from the past. The 543 members are elected under the plurality (‘first past the post’) electoral system.

Council of States (Rajya Sabha)
has 245 members, 233 members elected for a six year term, with one third retiring every two years. The members are elected by legislators of the state and union (federal) territories. The elected members are chosen under the system of proportional representation by means of the Single Transferable Vote. The twelve nominated members are usually an eclectic mix of eminent artists (including actors), scientists, jurists, sportspersons, businessmen and journalists.

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