Understanding the B-Form (for Contesting Elections)

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There is a host of forms one needs to fill for contesting an election in the country. One of these forms is called the Form-B or more commonly known as the B-Form. This form is proof that a particular candidate is put up by a political party and the B-Form ensures that he is allotted the reserved symbol of the political party.

There is every chance that you must have heard about something known as the B-Form during elections. This is probably the most important form for any citizen planning to contest elections on a party ticket. But what is a B-Form or Form-B?

Qualification for Contesting an Election

A minimum age has been prescribed for contesting the relevant election apart from other qualification criteria. The following are the age criteria for various elections

  • Lok Sabha (House of the People) – 25 years
  • Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly) – 25 years
  • Rajya Sabha (Council of States) – 30 years
  • Vidhan Parishad (Legislative Council)- 30 years

Elections to local bodies may have different age criteria since these are governed by relevant state laws.

Qualifications & disqualification for contesting elections are given in Articles 84, 102, 173& 191 of the Constitution of India and Sections 3 to 10A of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951.

Filing a Nomination

Once the elections have been notified by the Election Commission, interested candidates file their nomination. Nomination Paper has different formats for different elections.

  • Nomination Paper in Form 2A for contesting election to the Lok Sabha
  • Nomination Paper in Form 2B for contesting election to the Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly).
  • Nomination Paper in Form 2C for contesting election to the Rajya Sabha

Similarly there are other forms for contesting the Legislative Council elections and some special forms for certain Assembly constituencies in Sikkim.

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Filing an Affidavit along with the Nomination Form

Along with the relevant nomination form, an affidavit in Form 26  has to be furnished with the following particulars

  • Criminal antecedents, if any, (cases of convictions and all pending cases)
  • Details of PAN and status of filing of Income tax return of self, spouse and dependents
  • Details of the assets (movable and immovable etc.) including their current value
  • Details of the liabilities/dues of candidate, spouse and all dependents to government and public financial institutions
  • Details of profession or occupation of candidate and spouse
  • Highest educational qualification of the candidate

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The candidates are required to fill up all columns in this form and no column can be left blank. If there is no information about any of the items, remarks such as ‘NIL’ or ‘Not Applicable’ or ‘Not Known’ has to be indicated in those columns. If a candidate fails to fill the blanks, the nomination paper is liable to be rejected by the Returning Officer at the time of scrutiny of nomination papers.

Then what is the B-Form?

In the relevant nomination form, candidates indicate if they are put up by a political party or contesting the election as an independent.

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Those candidates, who indicate that they are put up by a political party, are required to submit two other forms in addition to the forms above, to prove that they are indeed put up by a political party.

  • Form A: This form indicates the list of authorized Persons who can intimate names of Candidates put up by political parties. This form has to be signed by the President or the Secretary of the Political Party along with the seal of the party. This form also has specimen signatures of the authorized persons.
  • Form B: Form B or more commonly known as the B-Form is signed by the authorized person of the party indicating the name of the candidate who is put up by that political party. The filled in form has to be provided in a specific given format. The form also has a provision to name a substitute in case the nomination of the approved candidate is rejected.

A candidate will be considered an independent and will not be allotted the reserved symbol of the party unless his name is indicated in the B-Form. Hence a lot of importance is given to the B-Form and it is often given at the last minute to avoid rebels etc.

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