1. P1: RPA Section 126-A and 130: Modi’s Selfi
  2. P2: Indelible ink: Principle
  3. P3: Booth Officer
  4. P4: Benefits of registered political party
  5. P5: Election Deposit Lost

P1: RPA Section 126-A and 130: Modi’s Selfi

Topic important because

  1. after voting in Ahmedabad, Narendra Modi gave a press conference while brandishing his election symbol. He even took a selfi on his mobile phone and published it twitter. For this act, Modi was booked RPA.
  2. Therefore, topic becomes important for UPSC General Studies Mains paper II syllabus: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act (RPA)

RPA Modi Selfi FIR

Representation of People’s act 1951 provisions
Section 126 Section 130
48 hours before conclusion of polls, No person can

  1. hold public meetings / processions
  2. display/ publishing any election matter on TV, radio, theatrical performance, musical shows etc.
Prohibits following activities near polling booth (100 meters distance)

  • canvassing : meaning asking public for favorable vote
  • asking people not to vote for a particular candidate
  • Displaying any election related sign/symbol.
Non-cognizable offence –i.e. Police cannot arrest without court permission Cognizable offence- police can arrest without court permission
2 years or fine or both only fine upto Rs.250
Modi was booked under this section Congress demanded that Modi be booked under this section as well and immediately arrested.
  • After this incident, Ahmedabad Crime branch investigated and sent a report to EC.
  • IndiaTV(!) said crime branch gave clean chit to Modi because press conference happened 100m outside the polling area hence no violation done. Police yet to file any chargesheet.

Sample Question: Under representation of people’s act

  1. Canvassing near the polling booth is a non-cognizable offense.
  2. No person can publicize election matter through TV, radio etc. 72 hours before the conclusion of polls.
  3. Both A and B
  4. Neither A nor B

Mains (GS2) Question: List the salient features of Section 126 and 130 of the Representation of People’s act 1951. 200 words.

P2: Indelible ink: Principle

  • Indelible= cannot be removed.
  • Chemical: silver nitrate. 5 ml vial can mark 350 voters.


  • Silver nitrate is colorless soluble salt.
  • When it is put on skin, Silver nitrate reacts with the salt present on skin
  • Forms silver chloride. (a metallic salt)
  • in the meantime, solvent alcohol evaporates in air.
  • Silver chloride is not soluble in water, and clings to your skin.
  • It cannot be washed off with soap, water, alchol, nail polish removal etc.
  • You must wait for few weeks until dead skin cells fall off.


  • Factory: Mysore Paint and Warnish ltd. (public sector company). only supplier.
  • Where? left forefinger of voter => any other finger of left hand=> right forefinger=> right hand any other finger
  • if no fingers=> left arm or right arm.
  • Apart from India- Philippines, Indonesia, Mali etc also use it.
  • Chemical used: silver nitrate
  • which stains the skin on exposure to ultraviolet light, leaving a mark that is impossible to wash off – removed only as external skin cells are replaced
  • It may also contain a solvent such as alcohol to allow for faster drying, especially when used with dipping bottles,
  • It may also contain a biocide to ensure bacteria aren’t transferred from voter to voter.
  • In India, ink dries up in 60 seconds and remain for few months

P3: Booth Officer

  • He is the Representative of Election Commission at the Grass-Root Level.
  • Appointed as per provisions of Representation of People Act, 1950.
  • From amongst the officers of the Govt. /Semi Govt. /Local Bodies.
  • He is the custodian of EVM @ polling booth.
  • Responsible for distributing voter identification slips to people. (Previously work done by political parties=complaints.)
  • Helps citizen get voter cards.
  • Keeps electoral rolls updated- removes duplicate entries.

P4: Benefits of registered political party

  1. can accept donations (but government company cannot give election fund)
  2. gets first preference to pick symbol (Independent candidate cannot)
  3. Need only one proposer while filling nomination form
  4. Gets one copy of electoral rolls free. (in general election)
  5. Gets two copies of electoral rolls free (when rolls are revised)
  6. Can broadcast/telecast facilities over Akashvani/Doordarshan during general elections.
  7. Can nominate “Star Campaigners” during General Elections.

Star Campaigners

Travel expenses of star campaigners are not to be accounted for in the election expense accounts of candidates of their party.

party National / state Un-recognized party
Can have how many star campaigners? 40 20

Eligibility conditions

Meet any one of the following conditions:

State party National Party
3% seats in leg. Assembly, (minimum 3) Minimum 2% seats in Lok Sabha (11)From atleast three different states
Won 1 LS seat for every 25 LS seats in the state 6% votes in four states (+4 seats in Lok Sabha)
Polled minimum 8% votes during (national/state) election Enjoys state party status in 4 states or more.
Got 6% votes (+ 1 Lok Sabha OR two leg.assembly seats)

Must fullfill these conditions for all subsequent Lokshabha or State elections. Else, they lose their status.

Present status: 2014 (Before modi came into power)
National Parties 6
State Parties 47
Unrecognized Parties 1563
Total Registered Parties 1616

P5: Election Deposit

Deposit amount for Lok Sabha elections
Category Deposit Amt (Rs.)
Gen/OBC 25,000
SC/ST 12,500

If the candidate fails to get a minimum of one-sixth of the total valid votes polled=> deposit taken away, sent to treasury.

Mock Questions

Q1. Correct statements about Voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT)

  1. It generates paper slip containing serial number and individual votes-directly at State Election Commission’s headquarter for the purpose of cross-verification.
  2. First successful trial was done during last assembly elections in New Delhi
  3. Both A and B
  4. Neither A nor B

Q2. Name of the chemical compound used in Indelible Ink Marker Pens during Elections and Pulse-Polio Campaigns.

  1. Lead Acetate
  2. Silver Nitrate
  3. Chromium Sulphate
  4. Zink Bromide

Q3. Why is Silver nitrate used in Indelible ink?

  1. it directly penetrates inside skin pores
  2. When it comes in contact of skin, it forms a metallic salt that cannot be washed off.
  3. It forms an insoluble dye when exposed to air and Sunlight.
  4. None of Above.

Q4. Incorrect statements about Star campaigners in an election?

  1. Only national parties such as Congress and BJP, can nominated star campaigners.
  2. Travel expenses of star campaigners are not to be accounted for in the election expense accounts of candidates of their party.
  3. All Star campaigners are eligible to get minimum “Y” category security cover.

Answer choices

  1. only 1 and 2
  2. only 2 and 3
  3. only 1 and 3
  4. None of them

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