The elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assembly of every State shall be on the basis of adult suffrage; that is to say, every person who is a citizen of India and who is not less than [eighteen years] of age on such date as may be fixed in that behalf by or under any law made by the appropriate Legislature and is not otherwise disqualified under this Constitution or any law made by the appropriate Legislature on the ground of non-residence, unsoundness of mind, crime or corrupt or illegal practice, shall be entitled to be registered as a voter at any such election.
Draft Article 289B (Article 326 of Constitution of India 1950) was absent in the Draft Constitution 1948. The Drafting Committee Chairman introduced this provision on 16 June 1949. It unequivocally declared that elections to legislatures would be based on universal adult suffrage.
A Member opposed this Draft Article stating that adult franchise was not theoretically or practically possible. He believed that the Article ‘violated the tenets of demcracy’ and implied that the Indian electorate was not elightened, and parliamentary democracy in India would fail.
The President reminded the Member that the Draft Article was merely restating a princple that the Assembly had already accepted. There was no further deabte and the Assembly adopted the Draft Article.
Draft Article 289B was adopted on the same day without further debate.