The State Election Commission (SEC), Rajasthan was constituted in July 1994 under Article 243K of the Constitution of India. The SEC is a single member Commission headed by the State Election Commissioner. It has a Secretary who is also the Chief Electoral Officer for the State. The Commission discharges its Constitutional duty by way of preparing electoral rolls and holding elections for Panchayati Raj Institutions as well as for Municipal bodies.
Free and fair elections are the foundation of a healthy democracy. The State Election Commission is the Constitutional body responsible for conducting and supervising elections to the local bodies in the State.
Elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions (P.R.Is) are being held in Rajasthan since 1960. The first election was conducted in 1960 by the Panchayat Department. Thereafter, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th elections in the years 1965, 1978, 1981 and 1988 were conducted by the Election Department. The 6th and 7th general elections to the PRIs were conducted by the SEC in 1995 and 2000. The 8th general elections have been conducted by the SEC in January and February, 2005.
Elections to Municipal bodies are being held in Rajasthan since 1960 by local self department. The 1st election was conducted by Election Department in 1963. Thereafter in some group of Municipal bodies elections were conducted by the Election Department in 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1982, 1986. General Elections to 45 Municipal bodies were conducted by the SEC in 1994 and to 137 Municipal bodies in 1995. Thereafter the general election to these bodies were again held in 1999-2000. The last general election for 45 Municipal bodies have been conducted by the SEC in November, 2004.
Rajasthan has a three-tier system of Panchayati Raj with 32 Zila Parishads (District level), 237 Panchayat Samities (Block level) and 9188 Panchayats (Village level, comprising of a village or a group of villages). Each Zila Parishad has territorial constituencies. A Zila Parishad having population upto 4 lacs has 17 constituencies and in case the population exceeds 4 lacs, then for every one lac or part of these in excess of 4 lacs, the number of constituencies will increase by two. The 32 Zila Parishads at present have 1008 constituencies.
Similarly, Panchayat Samities also have territorial constituencies. A Panchayat Samiti having population upto one lac consists of 15 constituencies and in case the population exceeds one lac then for every 15000 or part thereof in excess of one lac the number of constituencies increases by two. The 237 Panchayat Samities are presently divided into 5257 constituencies.
Each Panchayat has been divided into wards. The 9188 Panchayats at present have 105257 wards.
In Rajasthan, urban local bodies are called Municipalities, Municipal Councils and Municipal Corporations. The Commission discharges its constitutional duty by way of preparing electoral rolls and holding elections for Municipal bodies under Article 243ZA. At present, Rajasthan has 183 Municipal bodies with 4816 territorial constituencies.