Explain the term ‘Universal Adult Franchise’ in the context of the Indian Constitution.
In the context of the Indian Constitution, the term ‘Universal Adult Franchise’ means that all citizens who have completed 18 years of age have the right to vote and elect their political representatives. This right is possessed by all citizens irrespective of their caste, colour, race, religion, sex, social background, etc. The British had provided for communal electorates under the Government of India Acts of 1919 and 1935. The Constitution of India has replaced this practice with the more healthy provision of joint electorates. According to this system, resident voters of a constituency have to vote for the same candidate irrespective of his caste or creed. Some seats are also reserved for candidates from the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. All people from such constituencies have to vote for the candidates from the area.