Election campaign methods in Bihar


In Bihar, election campaign methods often involve a combination of traditional and modern strategies due to the diverse demographics and geographical spread of the state.

  1. Door-to-door Campaigning: Political parties and candidates often deploy workers to go door-to-door to meet voters, discuss their concerns, and seek their support. This method allows for direct interaction with voters and is especially effective in rural areas.
  2. Public Meetings and Rallies: Large public meetings and rallies are a staple of election campaigns in Bihar. Political leaders address crowds, make speeches, and try to garner support for their party and candidates. These events are often accompanied by music, slogans, and other forms of entertainment to attract and engage voters.
  3. Padyatras (Foot Marches): Padyatras involve candidates and party workers walking through neighborhoods, villages, and towns to connect with voters. This method helps candidates establish a personal connection with voters and understand their issues firsthand.
  4. Media Campaigns: Political parties use various media platforms, including television, radio, newspapers, and social media, to reach a larger audience. They advertise their policies, achievements, and promises through paid advertisements and news coverage.
  5. Use of Social Media: Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp play an increasingly important role in election campaigns in Bihar. Political parties and candidates use these platforms to connect with voters, share updates, and mobilize support. They also employ influencers and social media campaigns to reach specific demographics.
  6. Alliance Building and Coalition Politics: Bihar often witnesses alliance formations between political parties before elections. Parties form pre-poll alliances to consolidate votes and present a united front against their opponents. Campaigning under a broader alliance banner helps parties leverage each other’s support bases.
  7. Caste and Community Outreach: Given Bihar’s complex social structure, caste and community-based outreach is crucial in election campaigns. Parties often tailor their messages and strategies to appeal to specific caste groups and communities, addressing their concerns and aspirations.
  8. Issue-Based Campaigning: Parties also focus on highlighting key issues such as development, employment, education, healthcare, and infrastructure during their campaigns. They present their plans and policies to address these issues, aiming to sway undecided voters.
  9. Celebrity Endorsements and Campaigning: Political parties often enlist the support of popular celebrities, including actors, sports personalities, and public figures, to endorse their candidates and campaigns. Celebrity endorsements can help parties attract attention and influence public opinion.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) plays a crucial role in regulating and monitoring election campaigns in Bihar, as well as throughout the country

  1. Model Code of Conduct (MCC): The ECI enforces the Model Code of Conduct, which lays down guidelines for political parties and candidates to ensure free and fair elections. The MCC regulates various aspects of election campaigns, including speeches, rallies, processions, and use of public spaces.
  2. Registration of Political Parties: The ECI is responsible for registering political parties and ensuring compliance with electoral laws. Parties must adhere to the rules and regulations set by the ECI, including financial disclosure requirements and submission of expenditure reports.
  3. Monitoring Expenditure: The ECI monitors the expenditure of political parties and candidates during election campaigns. It sets limits on campaign spending to prevent unfair advantage and curb corruption. Parties and candidates are required to submit expenditure reports to the ECI for scrutiny.
  4. Media Monitoring: The ECI closely monitors media coverage of election campaigns to ensure fairness and impartiality. It regulates paid political advertisements, news coverage, and social media campaigns to prevent bias and misinformation.
  5. Observer Deployment: The ECI deploys election observers to oversee the conduct of elections and monitor campaign activities. These observers, often drawn from civil services, monitor various aspects of the electoral process, including campaigning, polling, and counting of votes.
  6. Complaint Mechanism: The ECI operates a complaint mechanism through which citizens can report violations of electoral laws and the Model Code of Conduct. It takes action against parties and candidates found guilty of malpractice, including issuing warnings, imposing fines, or even disqualifying candidates.
  7. Voter Education: The ECI conducts voter education programs to inform citizens about their rights and responsibilities during elections. It promotes voter awareness campaigns to encourage voter participation and combat electoral malpractices.
  8. Security Arrangements: The ECI works closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure security during election campaigns. It deploys security forces to maintain law and order, prevent violence, and safeguard the electoral process.


Committees for Electoral Reforms

  1. Dinesh Goswami report on Electoral reforms
  2. The Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice (Chair: Mr. Sushil Kumar Modi) submitted its report on “Specific Aspects of Election Process and their Reform”.

What constitutional provisions pertain to the conduct of elections in India?

  1. Adult suffrage shall govern elections to the House of Representatives and the Legislative Assembly of each state, as stipulated in Article 326 of the Constitution.
  2. An independent Election Commission is entrusted with the oversight, direction, and control of the compilation of electoral rolls and the conduct of elections, as stipulated in Article 324.
  3. State Election Commissions are entrusted with the duty of conducting elections for local bodies, namely Panchayats and Municipalities, in accordance with Articles 243K and 243ZA.
  4. By virtue of Article 328, a state legislature is authorised to enact regulations pertaining to elections for that legislature.
  • Discuss the major challenges related to elections in India and suggest measures to make the electoral process more inclusive and fair.

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