#Elections2019: Uttar Pradesh, A cakewalk for none


Mayawati and Akhilesh have sealed the deal for the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) which sends the highest number of Members to Parliament. BJP swept the state in 2014 riding on Modi wave and its development agenda trumping caste politics. Opinion polls predict heavy losses for BJP in the state. In this article, we look at eleven key factors which will determine the results of UP in 2019.

Transfer of votes without leakages: The success of any alliance depends upon the ability of partners to transfer their votes to each other with limited leakages. While in Bihar in 2015, a similar Mahagathbandhan (MGB) of Lalu, Nitish and Congress succeeded in doing so, in UP, alliance of SP-Congress failed to shift votes to each other in 2017. An informal alliance of SP and BSP for three bypolls succeeded vote transfer in bypolls last year.

Management of rebels: SP and BSP contested separately in 2014 and on an aggregate fielded 158 candidates. Almost half of these candidates (82 out of 158) will be denied tickets this time due to an alliance. Both parties will have to put in a lot of efforts to quell rebellion and reduce the impact to minimum levels. Uncle Shivpal’s party and even Congress could accommodate such rebels.

Ram Mandir & reverse polarisation: The Mandir issue is hot currently with RSS and other Hindu organisations. UP CM Yogi Adityanath has many times reiterated that bhavya Ram mandir will be built in Ayodhya. In such an environment, any attempts to consolidate the minority vote by MGB in their favour could be counter-productive and unify the Hindu votes towards BJP.

Voting preference of non-Jatavs: The prime reason for decline in BSP’s influence in UP has been that it is losing support of its core vote bank of Dalits. They account for 21 per cent of the population; Jatavs (Mayawati’s caste is 12-14 per cent) and non-Jatavs (7-9 per cent). The support of non-Jatavs which was 64 per cent for party in 2009 declined to 30 per cent in 2014. BJP emerged as the choice for 45 per cent of non-Jatavs in 2014 as they were unhappy with Jatavisation/ Brahmanisation of BSP.

Voting preference of non-Yadav OBCs: OBCs account for 40 per cent of the state’s population. Yadavs (10 per cent) have been backing the SP while non-Yadavs (29 per cent), including Kurmis, Lodhis, Patels mostly supported the BJP till the time Kalyan Singh was there in the party. After his exit in 1999, the party lost the NYOBC votes to SP-BSP. From 43 per cent in 2002, support of Kurmis/ Koeris for BJP declined to 20 per cent in 2009. The fact that Modi belongs to the OBC community, strategic alliance entered with Apna Dal and disenchantment of non-Yadavs with SP due to their neglect led to massive consolidation in favour of BJP (60 per cent) in 2014.

How many sitting MPs are denied tickets? Modi and Shah follow a unique model to curb anti-incumbency. Today there is BJP government at the Centre, in the state and in many local bodies. So, the party has to face what I call triple anti-incumbency. To negate the impact of this, the party usually denies tickets to 30-40 per cent of its existing MPs/ MLAs. In the three state elections held recently, the number was between 25-30 per cent. In MCD elections, all corporators of BJP were denied tickets.

How seriously Congress fights in UP & Priyanka factor: After being snubbed, the Congress has declared it will contest all 80 seats and has made Priyanka in-charge of East UP. She is expected to contest from Rae Bareli. This has enthused the party cadre. The Congress bagged 7.5 per cent vote share in 2014 in peak Modi wave, winning two and finishing second in seats. It also has influence in urban areas and enjoys support from section of upper castes, Muslims and Dalits in the state. If SP, BSP, Congress and RLD had contested together they would have won 57 seats in 2014 instead of 41 if only SP and BSP contested together.

Impact of smaller parties: Smaller parties have traditionally recorded 10-15 per cent vote share in UP. They are community-specific parties like RLD (Jats), Apna Dal (Patel’s), SBSP (Rajbhar), Nishad Party (Mallah) etc. BJP entered into strategic alliances with Apna Dal and SBSP in central and state polls to get the community votes and make inroads. Both allies are unhappy with BJP and posturing for more tickets this time around. Nishad Party is likely to get two seats from MGB quota.

Voting pattern of first-time voters: First-time voters play a crucial role in every election. These young voters mostly do not carry any baggage of ideology and vote on issues/ development. A media survey in 2014 said that almost half of 15 crore first-time voters in the 2014 general election, wanted to see Modi as PM. BJP made good inroads into young Yadav and Dalit voters in UP. As per reports, there are 12.7 crore first-time voters in 2019 out of which 2.2 crores are in UP.

Ability of MGB to manage contradictions in its vote blocks: It will be difficult for a section of SP and BSP cadre to accept each other as allies forgetting their bitter past. Many Dalits have borne the brunt of violence/torture by powerful OBCs.

How does development vs caste politics pan out? In 2014, BJP was able to convert the caste-ridden politics of the state into a narrative of nation-building and got support from all caste/class groups. As AK Verma opines in NES 2014, “This victory signalled a paradigm shift in voter behaviour, with a preference for good governance and development pushing out the identity politics of caste and community.” Whether MGB takes it back to caste politics, remains to be seen!

To sum up, in 2019, voters of UP will evaluate the performance of the Modi government. MGB will try to convert this battle into an ‘agadey vs pichadey’ fight. An interesting battle on the cards with many layers.

This article was first published dnaindia.com on 10th Feb 2019.

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#Elections2019: Why Congress May Damage The Mahagathbandhan More Than The BJP In Uttar Pradesh


The bua and bhatija jodi of Mayawati and Akhilesh have sealed an alliance for Uttar Pradesh. The duo kept Congress out from the scheme of things citing that the party does not have the ability to reciprocate vote transfer. The media is abuzz with debates about who will the Congress damage more, the mahagathbandhan or th Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in this triangular contest. The opinion is divided. In this post the writer will analyse who will benefit from Congress contesting independently. But first let’s take a look at the performance of the Congress party in Uttar Pradesh.

 

Vote Share And Seats

Since the advent of the coalition era in 1989, and the Mandal and Kamandal issue, which has a lasting impact on state politics, the Congress party’s graph has been witnessing a downward spiral in Uttar Pradesh.

From 31.8 per cent in 1989, its vote share declined to 6 per cent in 1998 when it even failed to open its account. From 1998 to 2014, its vote share has witnessed cyclical pattern. Its best performance in the last three decades was in 2009 when it surprised everybody by bagging 21 seats. In 2014, in Modi wave that gripped the state, it could retain just the family strongholds of Rae Bareli and Amethi.The party got 60.6 lakh votes in Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. It received 9.35 lakh votes in Amethi and Rae Bareli where it won.

On the remaining 65 seats it received on an average 79,000 votes per seat. It finished runner up in six seats, Bara Banki, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Kushi Nagar, Lucknow and Saharanpur where its candidates received more votes than Samajwadi Party (SP)/Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidates. It finished third in five seats where it received more votes than one of the mahagathbandhanpartners; Kheri (>SP), Mirzapur (>SP), Pratapgarh (>SP), Rampur (>BSP) and Varanasi (both >SP and >BSP).

Caste-Wise Support

The party enjoys significant support among the upper caste in Uttar Pradesh. It also enjoys good support among the Kurmi and Koeri community (Other Backward Class or OBC) and Muslims.

A break-up of the Congress vote share in UP in 2014 shows that the biggest chunk of the party’s vote came from minorities (23 per cent) followed by the upper caste (21 per cent) and OBCs (20 per cent). While minorities have traditionally voted for a party which is in a position to defeat the BJP, the upper caste communities are vocal supporters of the BJP.

Five Factors Why Congress Might Damage The Mahagathbandhan More Than The BJP

1. Congress will split the anti-BJP vote

Even after a scathing attack by Mayawati on Congress which, by the way, was no less than her attack on the BJP, Congress sympathisers feel the party will go for a tacit understanding with the mahagathbandhan. My political understanding is that Congress will fight spiritedly and try to prove a point that it can win without SP-BSP support, especially, after the victories in the three Hindi heartland states. While in Uttar Pradesh it cannot win more seats than mahagathbandhan, it can play a key role in 10-15 seats.

2. Congress will get a section of Dalit-Muslim-Yadav votes which would have otherwise gone to the mahagathbandhan

Some analysts are saying that the Congress will damage the BJP by garnering the Brahmin/upper caste votes of the BJP. The upper caste vote is only 21 per cent of total votes of Congress, going by the 2014 data. Muslims, Yadavs and Dalits which form the core vote bank of mahagathbandhan account for 39 per cent of Congress votes. This is almost double its upper caste support. The mahagathbandhan cannot defeat the BJP without the support of non-Yadav OBCs. Here as well Congress scores well with 35 per cent of its total support.

One could argue why Muslims would vote for Congress when they know the mahagathbandhan is in better position to defeat the BJP. This is because:

  • The Congress would also put up Muslim candidates in some seats leading to a split of votes
  • The Congress is in a better position to defeat the BJP nationally, SP and BSP can’t do that as they have no/ limited presence outside UP.

3. Congress could have compensated for leakages if it was part of the alliance

No community votes 100 per cent for any party in any elections and at best one could get is 70 per cent-75 per cent of one group’s vote, hence Congress could retain its Dalit, Muslim, Yadav (DMY) votes, which could hurt the mahagathbandhan in a tight contest. It is incorrect to assume that the Dalit, Muslim, Yadav voters of the Congress would not have voted for SP-BSP candidates in a larger alliance which included Congress as well.

These votes would have been easily transferred to the mahagathbandhan, roughly 3.5 per cent-4 per cent vote share based on the 2014 numbers. This would have compensated for translation losses. For any alliance to achieve pre-poll vote shares is difficult and like we saw in Bihar, 5 per cent-10 per cent leakage is normal. In that case the Congress party’s 7.5 per cent vote share would be handy.

4. Congress is strong in Urban pockets and Awadh region

Uttar Pradesh has 68 rural and 12 urban seats. In the urban seats, Congress performance was much better (+5 per cent) its vote share was almost similar to the BSP and SP vote share. In Awadh regions, which has 13 Lok Sabha seats, its vote share was 17.8 per cent in 2014, of course, helped by the fact that Rae Bareli and Amethi come under this region. In this region, its vote share was higher than the SP.

5. National vs Regional elections

UP has sent the maximum prime ministers to Parliament. In 1989, people voted for V P Singh and during 1996, 1998 and 1999 for Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In 2004, there was no PM candidate of the Congress and people were not gung-ho about Vajpayee’s return. In 2009, L K Advani (PM candidate of the BJP) contested from Gujarat while Rahul Gandhi who was conjectured to take over from Manmohan Singh in UPA 2 contesting from UP.

This is why the Congress surprised all with 21 seats. In 2014, Modi the PM candidate of BJP, contested from Varanasi and people voted for BJP in large numbers. This time it’s clear that the PM candidate of Congress is Rahul Gandhi. With both PM candidates of BJP and Congress contesting from UP, this could make the elections national rather than regional helping Congress like it did in 2009.

To sum up, the Congress contesting alone will damage the prospects of the mahagathbandhan in UP. The main issue why it was not included in the mahagathbandhan is that being a national party it would not have settled for anything less than 12-15 seats. That would have reduced the number of seats of SP-BSP and their ability to bargain in a hung Parliament situation. An interesting contest is on the cards.

#Elections2019: Priyanka Gandhi joins active politics: Congress has thrown its hat in UP, made contest tougher for SP-BSP and BJP


Congress has appointed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as party’s general secretary for Uttar Pradesh (East). She will take charge in the first week of February 2019 and is likely to contest from Raebareli, the traditional seat of Gandhi family, currently represented by Sonia Gandhi.

Congress leader Motilal Vohra commented on the development and said, “The responsibility given to Priyankaji is very important. This will not only have an effect on eastern Uttar Pradesh but also other regions.” Jyotiraditya Scindia will handle Uttar Pradesh West as the party’s general secretary.

Benefits of Priyanka campaigning

This move is likely to motivate the cadre of Congress, which was feeling low after Bua and Bhatija jodi announced a mahagathbandhan excluding Congress. Congress recorded 7.5 percent vote share in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, retaining only the two family stronghold seats. In the 2017 Assembly elections, the party’s performance declined further, with its vote share reduced to 6.3 percent.

Priyanka bears resemblance to Indira and is likely to attract the female voters who would connect with her far more easily. The turnout of women voters has been increasing over the years. Women are also making independent decisions on voting due to increase in literacy and awareness levels. Congress generally has received higher support from women compared to men in Lok Sabha elections.

Source: CSDS NES 2014

Priyanka in the past has canvassed for party only in Amethi and Raebareli. Her campaign across the state is likely to provide a fillip to fortunes of the party when it is attempting to revive its traditional vote bank of the upper caste (mainly Brahmins and Thakurs), Dalits and Muslims. A section of upper caste, disenchanted with BJP due to its flip-flop on the Ram Mandir issue and not so gung-ho about the 10 percent reservation for economically weaker sections for general class, will be targeted by the party.

The party is likely to attract better candidates for seats as they could now see a higher probability of winning elections on Congress ticket. Even BSP-SP candidates who are likely to be denied tickets due to the mahagathbandhan may flock to Congress for accommodating them.

Big blow to mahagathbandhan

The move is a big setback for the mahagathbandhan, which — despite keeping Congress out — had hoped the party would eventually have a tacit understanding of working with them for the larger cause of defeating BJP. Congress appointing Priyanka and Scindia as general secretaries in-charge of Uttar Pradesh is a clear signal that it will put up a spirited fight and make the contest truly triangular.

The party has not taken well the way Mayawati criticised Congress sharply in the press conference on the day of seat-finalisation of the mahagathbandhan. This is likely to split the anti-BJP vote and help BJP in the state. Congress and the mahagathbandhan share complimentary vote block of Dalits and Muslims and Congress strengthening is likely to be at the expense of the mahagathbandhan.

Over the years, Uttar Pradesh has been witnessing either a regional or national contest. Whenever people have voted on regional considerations, SP and BSP have done well, like in 2004 and 2009 when regional parties won more than half of the seats. Priyanka’s entry will make the contest national as she will be pitched against Modi.

Strategy of BJP disrupted

Priyanka’s entry also complicates matters for BJP as party will try to woo the Brahmin voters of the saffron party. The party will need to come up with a renewed strategy to figure out not only how to tackle the mahagathbandhan but also Congress, which has made Priyanka in-charge of Purvanchal which has 30 seats. BJP swept the region in 2014, bagging 29 seats. Modi contested from Varanasi, which created a wave in favour of the party in 2014.

Source: CSDS NES 2014

Congress hopes to repeat its 2009 performance

Congress finished runner-up in six seats in 2014, despite Modi wave scoring higher than SP and BSP. It finished second runner-up in five seats, getting more votes than either SP or BSP. Its vote share in 12 urban seats of the state is over 12 percent, 5 percent higher than state average.

In 2009, in a surprise result, the party won 21 seats, bagging 18.3 percent vote share. The party’s decision is keeping in mind short-term gains with long-term expansion strategy. It realises that since negotiations with mahagathbandhan was based on past performance, it could never get a good deal.

To sum up, Congress has thrown its hat in Uttar Pradesh by making Priyanka the general secretary. Now, it is all set to give the regional parties a run for their money. The impact of this could also be felt in seat discussions in Bihar.

This post was first published on firstpost.com on Jan 23rd, 2019.

#Elections2019: Congress strategy of cementing state-level alliances could dent Rahul Gandhi’s chances of becoming prime minister


At the extended Congress Working Committee meeting on 22 July, the All India Congress Committee authorised Rahul Gandhi to seal alliances with like-minded parties for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. While the Congress hopes to checkmate the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Narendra Modi government with this strategy, it could have far-reaching implications for the party’s presence as a pan-India entity as well as Rahul’s chances of fulfilling his dream to become prime minister of the country in 2019.

Before the coalition era from 1951 to 1996, the Congress contested nearly all Lok Sabha seats. During this period, it was only in 1971 that the party fielded candidates from only 85 percent of the constituencies. This was the result of a split in the Congress, when Morarji Desai and other members of the “Syndicate” left the party to form the Indian National Congress (Organisation), or INC(O). In this election, former prime minister Indira Gandhi had entered into strategic alliances in Tamil Nadu and Kerala and backed a few candidates in other states to defeat Desai’s Syndicate and establish her dominance over the party organisation and machinery.

The lowest number of seats the Congress contested was in 2004 (77 percent of the total) when it tied up with several regional parties to defeat the National Democratic Alliance. In 2014, the Congress contested from 464 constituencies.

 

2019 Alliance story

The Congress’ alliance strategy for the 2019 general elections is two-fold: One, it aims to tie up with regional parties in states where it is weak to defeat the BJP. This would be in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. The second is to form alliances with regional parties in states where there is a triangular, quadrangular, or multi-corner contest to strengthen its chances of victory. This would be in Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir.The four states where the Congress is weak are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, which account for 200 Lok Sabha seats. Here, the party is likely to get not more than 40 seats to contest.

In other states where the Congress will probably seal alliances, it could get another 70 to 80 seats to contest, according to the table below. On an average, the party is likely to contest from 115 constituencies in these 10 states.

State Alliance Partner Total No. of Seats No. of Seats Congress is likely to contest
Bihar RJD, HAM 40 8-10
Uttar Pradesh BSP, SP, RLD 80 8-10
West Bengal Trinamool Congress 42 8-10
Tamil Nadu DMK 39 7-9
Andhra Pradesh Telugu Desam Party 25  8-10
Telangana Telugu Desam Party 17  10-12
Maharashtra NCP 48 24-26
Jammu and Kashmir National Conference 6 3
Jharkhand JMM 14  10-12
Karnataka JD(S) 28 20-22
Total 339 106-124

 

Congress could contest considerably fewer seats in 2019

If the Congress can firm up these alliances, it is likely to field candidates from 319 constituencies — its lowest contesting tally ever at just 59 percent of the Lok Sabha seats.

While it all looks good, with the Congress making compromises for a united Opposition and the larger cause of defeating the BJP, it jeopardises the party’s hopes of leading the grand alliance. The number of seats it is likely to contest in 2019 in around 150 lower than the figure from 2014.

2014 2019
No. of Seats % of Seats  No. of Seats % of Seats
Congress 464 85% 319 59%
Allies 79 15% 224 41%
Total 543 100% 543 100%

 

Possibility of rebellions and end of Rahul’s prime ministerial hopes

This strategy is fraught with risks as it encourages rebels (150 odd in number) who could jump boat to contest on tickets from other parties, or as independents, and harm the party and its alliances. The figure is around one-third of total number of candidates the party fielded in 2014.

With its plan, the Congress also faces the potential risk of conceding that it is no longer a pan-India party and has lost significant base to regional outfits.Contesting from a significantly lower number of Lok Sabha seats also raises the risk of the party ending up with fewer seats than the regional parties it joins hands with. The Congress needs to win around 150 seats (+100 vs 2014) to seek the prime minister’s chair in case the grand alliance wins the polls. It requires a very high strike rate of 47 percent (150 of 319) to achieve this.

Since 1996, the average strike rate of the Congress has been 29 percent. Even after removing the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from the count — considering it an outlier — its average strike rate comes to only 33 percent. In 2009, the party did manage this figure, but the conditions were much different at the time. Back then, the Congress was in the driver’s seat, not the allies, contesting from 440 seats.

With Congress being the main Opposition party, what complicates matters are the regional outfits that may not join the grand alliance. This includes the Shiv Sena, Communist Party of India, Aam Aadmi Party, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Biju Janata Dal and Telangana Rashtra Samithi. If such a scenario does arise, many may not back the Congress because of the dynamics in their backyard.

To sum up, the strategy of sealing state-level alliances could put a significant dent in the Congress’ ability to push for Rahul as the prime ministerial candidate for the grand alliance.

This article was first published on firstpost.com on Aug. 6th 2018.

Jogi Wanted to Play Kingmaker But Dented BJP & Helped Congress Win


If there’s one state that has truly surprised pollsters, it is Chhattisgarh. The Congress has swept the state, leading in 67 seats, at the time of authoring the piece.

The exit polls were in fact, divided on Chhattisgarh. Three different opinion polls showed a BJP victory, a Congress victory, as well as a tight contest. Chhattisgarh has witnessed bi-polar contests since its inception.

But it is for the first time in its history that Chhattisgarh has witnessed a three-cornered fight, with Ajit Jogi’s Janata Chhattisgarh Congress and the Mayawati-alliance showing their might to both national parties. Jogi contested on 55 and Mayawati on 35 seats.

Jogi’s Inroads Into BJP and Congress

The Jogi element made the contest interesting, after all he is the tallest tribal leader of the Congress, and the first and only CM from Congress in the state. He left the Congress in June 2016 and formed the Janata Congress Chhattisgarh.

Since Jogi had been with the party for many years, many felt that he would damage the Congress and it would be a cakewalk for the BJP this time. However, it was a very simplistic assumption to have made.

Jogi and Mayawati enjoy the support of much of the SC/ST community which account for 44 percent of the population. Jogi also enjoyed good support among the Satnami community in the state. While BJP had won 9 of the 10 SC seats in 2013, INC had won 18 out of 29 ST seats in 2013. So, from the start it was clear that he would damage both.

In an interview to Bloomberg Quint, Jogi claimed he’s making inroads into both BJP and Congress vote banks. When Jogi formed his own party, Congress alleged that he was the B-team of BJP.

Jogi Hands a Shocker to BJP

At the time of publishing, the tally was: Congress: 67, BJP 17, Jogi-Mayawati alliance 7 seats. The BJP tally is down by two-thirds. A massive blow. Leads for 5 seats are not available. With this, the Congress has taken a significant lead in Chhattisgarh. A lead so comfortable that it seems almost certain that they will form the next government in the state.

(Source: Election Commission of India)

The vote shares of parties explain the severe blow which Jogi has dealt to BJP, the opposite of what was expected. BJP’s vote share has declined by 9 percent. At the same time, Jogi’s party (which was not in the fray the last time) along with Mayawati, has gained a 6 percent vote share, mostly at the expense of the BJP. On the other hand, the Congress has gained 1.4 percent vote share. Jogi’s dream of playing the kingmaker has been shattered.

(Source: Election Commission)

A look at the SC-ST reserved seats, 39 in total, also makes the picture clearer. While the SC seats have remained with the BJP over the years, ST seats have changed hands many times.

  • BJP, which won the majority of SC seats in 2008 and 2013, lost in a big way in these elections
  • Due to the Jogi impact, ST seats which were expected to come to BJP (as per the trend of the last 2 elections), actually stayed with the Congress. They in fact improved their tally by 4 seats
(Source: Election Commission)
(Source: Election Commission)

What Didn’t Work for Jogi?

Jogi’s party failed to make its symbol reach every village and taluka of the state. Due to Jogi’s association with the Congress over many years, much of the rural populace still felt he was with the Congress. So, while they wanted to vote for Jogi-Congress, they ended up voting for the Congress’s ‘hand’ symbol. Also, the fact that the Congress managed to create a perception of him being hand-in-glove with the BJP, helped the Congress.

To sum up, Ajit Jogi did play the role of a game-changer, but helped his parent party in turn, albeit inadvertently. He seems to have dented BJP and helped Congress win. Congress is all smiles, while Jogi must be ruing his decision. Jogi is like a Diwali rocket; nobody knows where it will go and whom it will hit.

This article was first published on ‘thequint.com‘ on 11 Dec. 2018.

History of Elections: 15th Lok Sabha (2009)


Congress came back to power in 2009 with a stupendous performance. Congress got 206 seats while UPA got 260 seats (+42). Congress / UPA recorded strong performance in Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. SP and BSP provided outside support. BJP lost 22 seats (mainly in Rajasthan, Maharashtra) while CPM lost 27 seats (mainly in Kerala and W.Bengal).

During 2004-09 economy performed really well. Plus BJP was weak. Vajpayee was bed ridden. Advani didn’t enjoy the same clout with RSS. Almost all regional parties were with Congress. Manmohan’s clean image also helped as UPA I didn’t have any scams. NREGA helped Congress get rural votes.

6 national parties and 357 state parties participated for 543 seats.

Parties Seats Won Change Votes%
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (INC) 206 61 27%
BHARATIYA JANTA PARTY(BJP) 116 (22) 22%
SAMAJWADI PARTY(SP) 23 (13) 4%
BAHUJAN SAMAJ PARTY( BSP) 21 2 5%
JANTA DAL(UNITED) JD(U) 20 12 2%
ALL INDIA TRINAMOOL CONGRESS (TMC) 19 17 3%
DRAVIDA MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM(DMK) 18 2 2%
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST)( CPM) 16 (27) 6%
BIJU JANTA DAL(BJD) 14 3 1%
SHIVSENA(SHS) 11 (1) 2%
NATIONALIST CONGRESS PARTY( NCP) 9 0 2%
ALL INDIA ANNA DRAVIDA MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM(ADMK) 9 9 2%
INDEPENDENT(IND) 9 4 4%
TELUGU DESAM PARTY (TDP) 6 1 3%
RASHTRIYA LOK DAL 5 2 0%
OTHER STATE / UNRECOGNISED PARTIES 41 (50) 15%
Total 543   100%

Source: Statistical Report, Election Commission of India, 2009 & Wikipedia

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 71.7 crores 
  • Voting % was 59.7%
  • 8,070 candidates participated, 14.86
  • 84.6% candidates lost their deposits

History of Elections: 14th Lok Sabha (2004)


Congress emerged as the single largest party with 145 (+31) seats in 2004. This was marginally higher than BJP which got 138 seats (-44). Congress formed a grand alliance called United Progressive Alliance with DMK, Nationalist Congress Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Lok Janashakti Party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha etc. with Manmohan Singh as PM. Left Front, Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party provided outside support.

BJP lost despite Indian Shining campaign. All opinion polls predicted BJP victory and it lost badly. Why? BJP was perceived and it still is perceived as a pro middle class and pro rich party. Poor people who had been used to receiving freebies from. govt. didn’t get any this time and hence voted against the BJP. Plus BJP didn’t handle it’s allies well. DMK was keen on a pre poll alliance but BJP shrugged it off. It dumped DMK and switched allaince to AIADMK before polls, AIADMK got nil seats while DMK 16 seats. The same AIADMK which had played a key role in Vajpayee’s govt. downfall. A lot of allies deserted after Godhra riots – Mamata’s Trinamool Congress, Paswan’s LJP, Abdullah’s NC etc. Overconfidence led to BJP downfall.

6 national parties and 224 state parties fought for 543 seats. BJP lost seats in UP (-19) and Bihar (-18). Plus TDP fared very badly in Andhra (-24 seats) and JDU badly in Bihar. Congres gained in Andhra (+24), Tamil Nadu (+8), Gujarat (+6).

Parties Seats Won Change Votes%
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (INC) 145 31 27%
BHARATIYA JANTA PARTY(BJP) 138 (44) 22%
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST)( CPM) 43 17 6%
SAMAJWADI PARTY(SP) 36 10 4%
RASHTRIYA JANTA DAL(RJD) 24 17 2%
BAHUJAN SAMAJ PARTY( BSP) 19 5 5%
DRAVIDA MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM(DMK) 16 4 2%
SHIVSENA(SHS) 12 (3) 2%
BIJU JANTA DAL(BJD) 11 1 1%
COMMUNIST  PARTY OF INDIA (CPI) 10 6 1%
NATIONALIST CONGRESS PARTY( NCP) 9 1 2%
JANTA DAL(UNITED) JD(U) 8 (13) 2%
AKALI DAL 8 (2) 1%
PATTALI MAKKAL KATCHI (PMK) 6 1 1%
INDEPENDENT(IND) 5 (1) 4%
TELUGU DESAM PARTY (TDP) 5 (24) 3%
TELANGANA RASHTRIYA SAMITI (TRS) 5 5 1%
JHARKHAND MUKTI MORCHA (JMM) 5 5 0%
OTHER STATE / UNRECOGNISED PARTIES 38 (16) 13%
Total 543   100%

Source: Statistical Report, Election Commission of India, 2004 & Wikipedia

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 67.1 crores (2009 elections 71.4 crores)
  • Voting % was 58.07% (2009 elections 59.7%)
  • 5,435 candidates participated, 10.01 per constituency (2009 average 14.86)
  • 77.6% candidates lost their deposits (2009 elections 84.6%)

History of Elections: 13th Lok Sabha (1999)


In elections held in 1999 after Vajpayee govt. lost a trust vote by 1 vote, BJP emerged as the largest party. Amazingly it ended up with the same no. of seats (182) as it did in 1998. Vajpayee formed a grand pre-poll alliance of 17 parties called National Democratic Alliance and formed a govt. with support of Lok Shakti, Telugu Desam Party, Janata Dal United, Shiv Sena, Biju Janata Dal, National Conference, Trinamool Congress, DMK etc.

Congress won 114 seats lowest in their history. BJP benefited from sympathy as his previous govt lasted only 13 days. His charismatic leadership was able to take all parties together and he ran the alliance well. He is claimed by many as to be the best Prime Minister of India.

7 national parties and 162 state parties fought for 543 seats. Best performance of Congress was in UP with 10 seats. BJP lost 28 seats in Uttar Pradesh after break up of alliance with Bahujan Samaj Party. This was made up in Maharashtra and Rajasthan. TDP swept Andhra. BJP along with JDU swept Bihar and Jharkhand.

Parties Seats Won Change Votes%
BHARATIYA JANTA PARTY(BJP) 182 0 24%
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (INC) 114 (27) 28%
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST)( CPM) 33 1 5%
TELUGU DESAM PARTY(TDP) 29 17 4%
SAMAJWADI PARTY(SP) 26 6 4%
JANTA DAL(UNITED) JD(U)** 21 9 3%
SHIVSENA(SHS) 15 9 2%
BAHUJAN SAMAJ PARTY( BSP) 14 9 4%
DRAVIDA MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM(DMK) 12 6 2%
ALL INDIA ANNA DRAVIDA MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM(ADMK) 10 (8) 2%
BIJU JANTA DAL(BJD) 10 1 1%
AKALI DAL 10 2 2%
ALL INDIA TRINAMOOL CONGRESS (TMC) 8 1 3%
RASHTRIYA JANATA DAL 7 (10) 2%
NATIONALIST CONGRESS PARTY (NCP) 8 8 2%
INDEPENDENT(IND) 6 0 3%
INDIAN NATIONAL LOK DAL (INLD)* 5 5 1%
PATTALI MAKKAL KATCHI (PMK) 5 5 1%
OTHER STATE / UNRECOGNISED PARTIES 28 (34) 8%
TOTAL 543   100%

*Formed as an offshoot of Janata Dal by Om Prakash Chautala.

**Formed through merger of Samata Party and Sharad Yadav led faction of Janata Dal.

Source: Statistical Report, Election Commission, 1999 & Wikipedia

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 61.95 crores (2009 elections 71.4 crores)
  • Voting % was 58.08% (2009 elections 59.7%)
  • 4,648 candidates participated, 8.56 per constituency (2009 average 14.86)
  • 73.1% candidates lost their deposits (2009 elections 84.6%)

History of Elections: 12th Lok Sabha (1998)


After Gujral govt. fell in 1998, elections were held. BJP emerged as the single largest party with 182 seats. Congress came second with 141 seats. BJP got chance to form govt. under Vajpayee. It formed a grand alliance of 14 parties with 286 seats. Prominent allies included AIADMK, Samata Party (now JDU), Biju Janata Dal, Akali Dal, Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena, PMK, MDMK etc.

Govt. lasted only 13 months.  Jayalalitha led to the downfall of the govt.  as Vajpayee refused to dismiss DMK govt. in Tamil Nadu. She pulled the plug and Vajpayee lost trust vote by 1 vote. A Congress MP came to vote on a stretcher. Subramanium Swamy who today chants Namo Namo played a crucial role in downfall of govt. along with Sonia (who he bad mouths daily) and Jayalalitha.

7 national parties and 170 state parties fought for 543 seats. BJP gained in Karnataka and UP. Congress seats were constant. Janata Dal lost badly in Bihar and UP impacted by defections.

Parties Seats Won Change Votes%
BHARATIYA JANTA PARTY(BJP) 182 21 26%
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (INC) 141 1 26%
OTHER STATE / UNRECOGNISED PARTIES 42 (19) 9%
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST)( CPM) 32 0 5%
SAMAJWADI PARTY(SP) 20 3 5%
ALL INDIA ANNA DRAVIDA MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM(AIADMK) 18 18 2%
RASHTRIYA JANATA DAL* 17 17 3%
SAMATA PARTY(SAP) 12 4 2%
TELUGU DESAM PARTY(TDP) 12 (4) 3%
COMMUNIST  PARTY OF INDIA (CPI) 9 (3) 2%
BIJU JANATA DAL* 9 9 1%
AKALI DAL 8 0 1%
ALL INDIA TRINAMOOL CONGRESS (TMC)** 7 7 2%
JANTA DAL (JD) 6 (40) 3%
INDEPENDENT(IND) 6 (3) 2%
SHIV SENA (SS) 6 6 2%
DRAVIDA MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM(DMK) 6 (11) 1%
BAHUJAN SAMAJ PARTY( BSP) 5 (6) 5%
REVOLUTIONIST SOCIALIST PARTY (RSP) 5 0 1%
TOTAL 543   100%

*Formed as an offshoot of Janata Dal by Lalu Yadav and Biju Patnaik respectively.

**Formed as an offshoot of Congress by Mamata Banerjee.

Source: Statistical Report, Election Commission, 1998 & Wikipedia

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 60.6 crores (2009 elections 71.4 crores)
  • Voting % was 60.1% (2009 elections 59.7%)
  • 4,750 candidates participated, 8.75 per constituency (2009 average 14.86)
  • 73.3% candidates lost their deposits (2009 elections 84.6%)

History of Elections: 11th Lok Sabha (1996)


The 11th Lok Sabha elections were held in 1996. Congress govt. of 1991 under PV Narasimha Rao was engulfed in scams. Cash for votes scam and split within party hurt Congress. BJP emerged as the single largest party with 161 seats. President invited Vajpayee to form govt. but he couldn’t get the numbers. His term lasted for 13 days and he resigned without facing a confidence vote. Congress was the no. 2 party with 140 seats but declined to form govt. Instead it chose to provide outside support to Janata Dal to form a coalition govt. Janata Dal with 46 MPs formed the govt. with Deve Gowda as Prime Minister. Communists with 44 seats also provided outside support The United Front govt. consisted of Samajwadi Party (17), Tamil Manila Congress (20), DMK (17) and Assam Gana Parishad (5) seats among others.

HD Deve Gowda was a surprise choice as PM. He emerged as the consensus candidate. Lalu Yadav was the most powerful and popular Janata Dal leader and tipped to be PM. However he faced stiff opposition from other Yadav’s Mulayam and Sharad Yadav. Plus his name featured in fodder scam which went against him.

Congress pulled the plug from under Deve Gowda’s feet in 11 months as he was not giving importance to Congress and not consulting it in key decisions. IK Gujral was chosen as PM after Gowda and he too remained in power for similar time. Central Bureau of Investigation wanted to prosecute Lalu in fodder scam and requested govt. for approval. Lalu had to resign and he floated his own party Rashtriya Janata Dal with 17 MPs. Gujral removed CBI chief Joginder Singh and this was seen as acting under pressure from Lalu. Congress demanded that DMK be thrown out of govt. after its name surfaced in a report as having links with LTTE responsible for killing their leader Rajiv Gandhi. It is ironical that Congress tied up with the same DMK which was part of UPA I & II. After Gujral refused, Congress pulled the plug.

8 national parties and 201 state parties fought for 543 seats. Congress lost heavily in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu which accounted for 88 of the 92 lower seats in 1996 vis-a-vis 1991. BJP gained 34 seats in Bihar, MP and Maharashtra. Janata Dal lost 29 seats in Bihar and UP which led to its lower seats.

Parties Seats Won Change Votes%
BHARATIYA JANTA PARTY(BJP) 161 41 20%
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (INC) 140 (92) 29%
JANTA DAL (JD) 46 (13) 8%
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST) ( CPM) 32 (3) 6%
TAMIL MAANILA CONGRESS (MOOPANAR)(TMC)(M) 20 20 2%
SAMAJWADI PARTY(SP) 17 17 3%
DRAVIDA MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM(DMK) 17 17 2%
OTHER STATE / UNRECOGNISED PARTIES 21 (10) 7%
TELGU DESAM PARTY(TDP) 16 3 3%
SHIVSENA(SHS) 15 11 1%
COMMUNIST  PARTY OF INDIA (CPI) 12 (2) 2%
BAHUJAN SAMAJ PARTY(BSP) 11 9 4%
INDEPENDENTS (IND) 9 8 6%
SAMATA PARTY(SAP) 8 3 2%
AKALI DAL 8 8 1%
REVOLUTIONIST SOCIALIST PARTY (RSP) 5 1 1%
ASOM GANA PARISHAD 5 4 1%
TOTAL 543   100%

Source: Statistical Report, Election Commission of India, 1996, Wikipedia

*TMC was formed by G.K. Moopnar who split from Congress.

**Samajwadi Party was formed as an offshoot of Janata Dal.

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 59.3 crores (2009 elections 71.4 crores)
  • Voting % was 57.5% (2009 elections 59.7%)
  • 13,952 candidates participated, 25.69 per constituency (2009 average 14.86)
  • 90.9% candidates lost their deposits (2009 elections 84.6%)

History of Elections: 10th Lok Sabha (1991)


Elections were held in 1991 sixteen months after last elections in 1989. This small period of 21 months saw 2 prime ministers. VP Singh and Chandrasekhar. Chandrasekhar split Janata Dal with 61 MPs out of 143 and formed govt with outside support of Congress. He resigned after rumours that his govt was spying on Rajiv Gandhi.

After 1st phase of elections, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by LTTE in a suicide bomb attack. Congress emerged as the largest party with 244 seats, largely due to sympathy wave. It was able to form govt. under PV Narasimha Rao with the support of smaller parties and Communists. Janata Dal suffered heavily due to split and was down to 60 seats (53 seats in UP and Bihar). BJP increased it’s tally to 120 largely due to Ram Madir movement. It got 51 seats in UP and 20 seats in Gujarat. Mandal (reservations) and Kamandal (building of Ram Temple) were the biggest issues.

9 national parties and 136 state parties contested for 524 seats. Congress did well in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, MP, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Parties Seats Won Change Votes%
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (INC) 232 35 36%
BHARATIYA JANTA PARTY(BJP) 120 35 20%
JANTA DAL (JD) 59 (84) 12%
OTHER STATE / UNRECOGNISED PARTIES PARTIES & INDEPENDENTS 43 (10) 13%
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST)( CPM) 35 2 6%
COMMUNIST  PARTY OF INDIA (CPI) 14 2 2%
TELGU DESAM PARTY(TDP) 13 11 3%
ALL INDIA ANNA DRAVIDA MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM(AIADMK) 11 0 2%
JHARKHAND MUKTI MORCHA (JMM) 6 3 1%
JANTA PARTY (JNP) 5 5 3%
REVOLUTIONIST SOCIALIST PARTY (RSP) 5 1 1%
Total 543   100%

Source: Statistical Report, Election Commission of India, 1991

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 49.8 crores (2009 elections 71.4 crores)
  • Voting % was 54.3% (2009 elections 59.7%)
  • 8,668 candidates participated, 16.64 per constituency (2009 average 14.86)
  • 86.3% candidates lost their deposits (2009 elections 84.6%)

History of Elections: 9th Lok Sabha (1989)


The 9th Lok Sabha elections were held in 1989. Rajiv Gandhi (incumbent Prime Minister’s) image had taken a beating due to Bofors scam. VP Singh defence and finance minister resigned from Congress in aftermath of Boforos scam and formed Janata Dal. Janata Dal (143) along with outside support of BJP (85) and Communists (45) formed govt. with VP Singh as PM. This elections saw the rise of era of coalition politics and all govts. in India post that have been coalition govts. VP Singh won a fierce internal party battle and defeated Devi Lal and Chandrasekhar for the top post.

8 national parties and 105 state parties participated in the polls. Elections to Assam were  not held as rolls were not ready. Janata Dal won majority of its seats in Uttar Pradesh (54) and Bihar (32). BJP won majority of its seats in Madhya Pradesh (27). Congress lost badly in UP, MP, Rajasthan and Bihar (179 seats out of total decline of 217 seats).

Name of Party Seats Won Change Votes%
BHARATIYA JANTA PARTY(BJP) 85 83 11%
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (INC) 197 (217) 40%
LOK DAL (LKD) 0 (3) 0%
COMMUNIST  PARTY OF INDIA (CPI) 12 6 3%
JANTA PARTY (JNP) 0 (10) 1%
CUMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST)( CPM) 33 11 7%
INDIAN CONGRESS SOCIALIST SARAT CHNADRA SINHA (ICS) 1 (4) 0%
JANTA DAL (JD) 143 143 18%
OTHER STATE PARTIES 27 (39) 9%
REGISTERED UNRECOGNISED PARTIES 19 19 6%
INDEPENDENT(IND) 12 (1) 5%
Total 529   100%

Source: Statistical Report, Election Commission of India, 1989

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 49.9 crores (2009 elections 71.4 crores)
  • Voting % was 59.27% (2009 elections 59.7%)
  • 6,160 candidates participated, 11.64 per constituency (2009 average 14.86)
  • 81.2% candidates lost their deposits (2009 elections 84.6%)

History of Elections: 8th Lok Sabha (1984)


The 8th Lok Sabha elections were held in 1984 after Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Two of her body guards fired bullets at her to revenge Operation Blue Star and she died on spot. Rajiv Gandhi her son led party into polls and got a resounding victory (best performance of Congress till date) due to sympathy wave.

Elections in two states Assam and Punjab were not held simultaneously with Lok Sabha due to terrorism activities in the state. They were held later. Janata Party was trounced. Janata Party (Secular) rechristened as Lok Dal also lost heavily. Telugu Desam Party emerged as the 2nd largest party with 30 seats. Bhartiya Janata Party made its debut with 2 seats. Congress won 414 seats.

7 national parties and 26 state parties along with independents contested for 542 Lok Sabha seats.

Name of Party Seats Won Change Votes%
BHARATIYA JANTA PARTY(BJP) 2 2 8%
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (INC) 414 48 49%
LOK DAL (LKD) 3 (38) 6%
COMMUNIST  PARTY OF INDIA (CPI) 6 (4) 3%
JANTA PARTY (JNP) 10 (21) 7%
COUMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST)( CPM) 22 (15) 6%
INDIAN CONGRESS (ICS) 5 5 2%
OTHER STATE PARTIES 66 32 12%
REGISTERED UNRECOGNISED PARTIES 0 (1) 1%
INDEPENDENT(IND) 13 4 8%
Total 541   100%

Source: Statistical Report, Election Commission of India, 1985

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 37.9 crores (2009 elections 71.4 crores)
  • Voting % was 61.05% (2009 elections 59.7%)
  • 5,312 candidates participated, 10.33 per constituency (2009 average 14.86)
  • 80.25% candidates lost their deposits (2009 elections 84.6%)

History of Elections: 7th Lok Sabha (1980)


The 7th Lok Sabha elections were held in 1980, two years ahead of schedule. In 1977 Janata Party alliance won elections and formed govt. but there were inherent contradictions in coalition. Plus they had a thin majority of 295 seats. Many leaders had Prime Ministerial ambitions. Charan Singh withdrew support to the govt. in 1979 and Morarji Desai resigned. Charan Singh staked claim to form govt backed by Congress. Even he had to resign in 1980 as Congress backed out, he being in office for only 3 weeks.

6 national parties and 30 state parties contested for 542 seats. Congress again swept elections, 353 seats, up 199 seats from 1977. Split in Janata Party helped Indira. Janata Party (Morarji Desai) and Janata Party Secular (Charan Singh) fought separately and got 72 seats only. Congress came back strongly in UP and Bihar (81 seats). Janata Party (Secular) won 29 out of its 41 seats in UP. People voted for Congress as they didn’t want an ustable coalition govt. Something current generation voters must learn from. 12 constituencies of Assam didn’t go to polls along with national elections.

Name of Party Seats Won Change Votes %
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (INC) (I) 353 199 43%
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (INC) (U) 13 10 5%
COMMUNIST  PARTY OF INDIA (CPI) 10 3 2%
JANTA PARTY (JNP) 31 (223) 19%
JANTA PARTY(SECULAR)  JNP(S) 41 9%
CUMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST)( CPM) 37 15 6%
OTHER STATE PARTIES 34 (15) 8%
REGISTERED UNRECOGNISED PARTIES 1 (2) 1%
INDEPENDENT(IND) 9 0 6%
Total 529   100%

Source: Statistical Report, Election Commission of India, 1980

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 32.1 crores (2009 elections 71.4 crores)
  • Voting % was 54.49% (2009 elections 59.7%)
  • 2,439 candidates participated, 4.5 per constituency (2009 average 14.86)
  • 73.8% candidates lost their deposits (2009 elections 84.6%)

History of Elections: 6th Lok Sabha (1977)


The 6th Lok Sabha elections were held in 1977 one year later than scheduled. Indira Gandhi led Congress to resounding victory in 1971 despite split in party headed by Morarji Desai. In 1975 a court found Indira guilty on the charge of misuse of government machinery for her election campaign’s election and declared her election null and void and unseated her from her seat. Infuriated Indira declared emergency. She assumed vast powers, opposition leaders were jailed and press was curtailed. Emergency was there for 21 months from June 1975 to Mar 1977.

Indira lifted Emergency and called for elections. Opposition parties parties namely INCO (M. Desai), Bhartiya Lok Dal (Charan Singh) and Bhartiya Jan Sangh (Vajpayee)formed a grand alliance called Janata Party. These parties fought on Bhartiya Lok Dal’s symbol.

Elections were held for 542 constituencies. 5 national parties and 29 state parties contested the elections. Congress lost badly and Janata Party alliance won. Morarji Desai became the 1st non Congress PM. Both Indira and her son Sanjay lost. Congress was trounced in UP / Bihar drawing a blank out of 139 seats. Congress won only 154 seats, while BLD won 295 seats (+23 seats from majority).

Name of Party Seats Won Change Votes %
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS(INC) 154 (198) 35%
COMMUNIST  PARTY OF INDIA (CPI) 7 (16) 3%
BHARATIYA LOK DAL(BLD)* 295 260 41%
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST)( CPM) 22 (3) 4%
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS ORGANISATION ( NCO) 3 (13) 2%
OTHER STATE PARTIES 49 9 9%
REGISTERED UNRECOGNISED PARTIES 3 (10) 1%
INDEPENDENT(IND) 9 (5) 6%
Total 542   100%

Source: Statistical Report, Election Commission of India, 1977

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 32.1 crores (2009 elections 71.4 crores)
  • Voting % was 57.8% (2009 elections 59.7%)
  • 2,439 candidates participated, 4.5 per constituency (2009 average 14.86)
  • 55.6% candidates lost their deposits (2009 elections 84.6%)

History of Elections: 4th Lok Sabha (1967)


The 4th Lok Sabha elections were held in 1967. 7 national parties and 18 state parties along with independents fought for 520 constituencies.  Indira Gandhi led the Congress into the elections. After Nehru led Congress to a resounding victory in 1962 poll,s he died of a heart attack in 1964. He was succeeded by Lal Bahadur Shastri as 2nd PM of India.  Shahstri died under mysterious circumstances in Tashkent in 1966. He was succeeded by Indira Gandhi (Nehru’s daughter) as PM. She won a fierce internal battle with Morarji Desai for the post.

Though Congress came back to power with 283 seats, it barely got majority (+22) due to internal fighting within the party. Swatantra Party emerged as the 2nd largest party (+26 seats) while Bhartiya Jan Sangh emerged as the 3rd largest party (+21 seats). The Praja Socialist Party suffered a split with a section (led by George Fernandes) forming their own outfit named Samyukta Socialist Party. Surprisingly it did better than its parent party (+10 seats).

Congress lost heavily in Madras (-28 seats) and recorded losses in UP (-15 seats). Karunanidhi’s DMK bagged 25 seats in Madras making its debut. Swatantra Party gained in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Orissa. BJS gained in Delhi, UP and MP.

Name of Party Seats Won Change Votes %
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS(INC) 283 (78) 41%
COMMUNIST  PARTY OF INDIA (CPI) 23 (6) 5%
PRAJA SOCIALIST PARTY (PSP) 13 1 3%
BHARTIYA JAN SANGH(BJS) 35 21 9%
SAMYUKTA SOCIALIST PARTY(SSP) 23 17 5%
SWATANTRA(SWA) 44 26 9%
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST)( CPM) 19 19 4%
OTHER STATE PARTIES 43 15 10%
REGISTERED UNRECOGNISED PARTIES 2 (4) 0%
INDEPENDENT(IND) 35 15 14%
Total 520   100%

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 25 crores (2009 elections 71.4 crores)
  • Voting % was 56.57% (2009 elections 59.7%)
  • 2,369 candidates participated, 4.56 per constituency (2009 average 14.86)
  • 50.7% candidates lost their deposits (2009 elections 84.6%)
  • Women MPs were 5.6% (2009 it increased to 11%)

History of Elections: 3rd Lok Sabha (1962)


The 3rd Lok Sabha elections were held in 1962. 6 national parties and 21 state parties along with independents fought for 494 constituencies.  For the first time, there were only one-seat, constituencies and 91 two-seat constituency were abolished.

Nehru led Congress to a resounding victory (361 seats). CPI was the 2nd largest party  (29 seats), followed by the debutant Swatantra Party (18 seats).

C. Rajagopalachari (the last Governor General of India) resigned from Congress and formed Swatantra party. The party opposed the Nehruvian socialist outlook of Congress by advocating free enterprise / trade, and opposing the licence-permit Raj.

Congress swept UP and Bihar with 101 seats (out of 139 seats), Maharashtra (41 out of 44) and Andhra Pradesh (34 out of 43). CPI’s best performance was in Andhra (7 seats), Swatantra’s best performance was in Bihar (7 seats) and BJS’s best performance in UP (7 seats).

Name of Party Seats Won Change Votes %
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS(INC) 361 (10) 45%
COMMUNIST  PARTY OF INDIA (CPI) 29 2 10%
PRAJA SOCIALIST PARTY (PSP) 12 (7) 7%
BHARTIYA JAN SANGH(BJS) 14 10 6%
SOCIALIST (SOC) 6 6 3%
SWATANTRA (SWA) 18 18 8%
OTHER STATE PARTIES 28 (3) 9%
REGISTERED UNRECOGNISED PARTIES 6 6 1%
INDEPENDENT(IND) 20 (22) 11%
Total 494   100%

Source: Statistical Report, Election Commission of India, 1962

       

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 12.8 crores (2009 elections 71.4 crores)
  • Voting % was 51.48% (2009 elections 59.7%)
  • 1,985 candidates participated, 4.01 per constituency (2009 average 14.86)
  • 43.1% candidates lost their deposits (2009 elections 84.6%)
  • Women MPs were 6.2% (2009 it increased to 11%)

History of Elections: 2nd Lok Sabha (1957)


India gained independence in 1947 and Jawaharlal Nehru became the 1st Prime Minister of the country as he was the President of the Indian National Congress (INC) when India gained independence.  INC under Nehru won the 1st national elections held in 1952 (74% of total seats). Nehru led the Congress into the 2nd Lok Sabha elections held in 1957.

Image

4 national parties and 11 state parties along with independents fought for 403 constituencies (494 Lok Sabha seats). Uttar Pradesh has the highest no. of seats (86), followed by Bombay  (66) and Bihar (53). While undivided UP and Bihar still have similar no. of seats, no. of seats of Bombay has reduced from 66 to now Maharashtra (48) as part of current Gujarat was part of Maharashtra then.

Congress was still the major political force in the country having given Indian independence from British. An important event which happened after the 1952 elections is the merger of Socialist Party – SP (RM Lohia and JP Narayan) with Kisan Majdoor Praja Parishad – KMPP (A Kripalani) to form Praja Socialist Party (PSP). It is noted that Kripalalni was one of the three contenders for post of INC President and eventually PM but lost out to Nehru in 1947.

Congress won thumping majority – 75% of total seats. The second and third largest parties were CPI and PSP.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee who went on to become PM in 1998 made his debut as a MP in 1957 and was chosen from Balrampur constituency. These elections also saw the rise of Congress member, Feroz Gandhi (who went on to marry Nehru’s daughter Indira). He won from Rae Bareilly constituency (now Sonia’s constituency).

Image

Congress swept UP and Bihar with 110 seats (out of 138 seats) while it did ok in Madras (38 out of 66 seats). In UP and Bihar currently Congress doesn’t have great presence and explains its decline. CPI did well in Kerala and WB still considered as its bastion.

Name of Party

Seats Won

Change

Vote %

INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS(INC)

371

7

48%

COMMUNIST  PARTY OF INDIA (CPI)

27

11

9%

PRAJA SOCIALIST PARTY (PSP)

19

(2)

10%

BHARTIYA JAN SANGH(BJS)

4

1

6%

OTHER NATIONAL PARTIES

0

(14)

0%

OTHER STATE PARTIES

31

(3)

8%

INDEPENDENTS (IND)

42

5

19%

TOTAL

494

 

100%

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 19.4 crores (2009 elections 71.4 crores)
  • Voting % was 45.4% (2009 elections 59.7%)
  • There were 312 one-seat and 91 two-seat constituencies. Multi-seat constituencies were discontinued in 1960s.
  • Ambedkar lost elections.
  • 1,519 candidates participated, ~3 per constituency (2009 average ~15)
  • ~33% candidates lost their deposits (2009 elections ~85%)
  • Women MPs were 4% (2009 it increased to 11%)

History of Elections: 1st Lok Sabha (1952)


Some readers have suggested that I should write something about the history of elections in India. Start from today a series on the same which will cover information from 1st to 15th Lok Sabha. 

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India gained independence in 1947 and Jawaharlal Nehru became the 1st Prime Minister of the country as he was the President of the Indian National Congress (INC) when India gained independence.  The 1st Lok Sabha elections were held in end of 1951 – beginning of 1952, after the term of Nehru ended.

14 national parties and 39 state parties along with independents fought for 401 constituencies (489 Lok Sabha seats). Uttar Pradesh has the highest no. of seats (86), followed by Madras (75) and Bihar (55). While undivided UP and Bihar still have similar no. of seats, no. of seats of Madras has reduced significantly from 75 to now Tamil Nadu (39) as part of current Andhra Pradesh was part of Madras.

Congress was the major political force in the country having given Indian independence from British. But before the elections, two stalwarts of Nehru’s cabinet – Shyama Prasad Mookerjee and B.R.Ambedkar (who drafted the Constitution) left Congress to form their own political parties, due to differences with Nehru. Mookerjkee formed Bhartiya Jan Sangh – BJS (parent organization of current BJP) and Ambedkar formed Republican Party of India (RPI). There are many RPIs today in India after several splits but philosophy of Ambedkar is carried on by Mayawati’s BSP (so it claims).

Other prominent parties were Socialist Party – SP (RM Lohia and JP Narayan), Communist Party – CPI and Kisan Majdoor Praja Parishad – KMPP (A Kripalani). It is noted that Kripalalni was one of the three contenders for post of INC President and eventually PM but lost out to Nehru.

Congress won thumping majority – 75% of total seats while regional parties and independents won 15% of the seats. So the regional parties becoming so strong today has some history. The second and third largest parties were CPI and SP.

Congress swept UP and Bihar with 126 seats (out of 141 seats) while it did ok in Madras (35 out of 75 seats). So historically in T. Nadu it didn’t fare well. In all the three states currently Congress doesn’t have great presence and explains its decline. CPI did well in Madras, WB and Tripura, still considered as its bastion till recently except T. Nadu.

Parties

Seats Won

Win %

Votes %

INC

364

76%

45%

CPI

16

33%

3%

SP

12

5%

11%

KMPP

9

6%

6%

BJS

3

3%

3%

Other National Parties

14

NA

8%

State Parties

34

27%

8%

Independents

37

7%

16%

Total

489

 

100%

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 17.3 crores (2009 elections 71.4 crores)
  • Voting % was 44.87% (2009 elections 59.7%)
  • There were 314 one-seat, 86 two-seat and one three-seat constituencies. Multi-seat constituencies were discontinued in 1960s.
  • Ambedkar lost elections.
  • 1,874 candidates participated, 4.67 per constituency (2009 average 14.86)
  • 18.3% candidates lost their deposits (2009 elections 84.6%)
  • MPs >56 yrs of age was 20% (2009 it was 43%)
  • Women MPs were 5% (2009 it increased to 11%)
  • Lok Sabha met for 127 days in a year (2011 it decreased to 73 days)

 

3rd Lok Sabha Elections


6 national parties and 21 state parties along with independents fought for 494 constituencies / Lok Sabha seats in 1962 Lok Sabha Elections. Uttar Pradesh had the highest no. of seats (86), followed by Bihar (53) and Maharashtra (44). Elections were held for 18 states / union territories. Gujarat (22) and Maharashtra (44) were carved out of Bombay state (66).  The elections saw the abolishment of 2 seat / 3 seat constituencies.

Congress was still the major political force in the country having given Indian independence from British. Nehru led Congress into the 3rd elections. The party won with a thumping majority – 73% of total seats. The second and third largest parties were CPI and Swatantra Party.

The Swatantra Party was founded by C. Rajagopalachari and N.C. Ranga in Aug. 1959. The party opposed the Nehruvian socialist outlook and advocated free enterprise, free trade and opposed the licence-permit Raj. They had worked closely with Nehru to obtain independence for India. Rajagopalachari was the last Governor-General of India and amongst the first recipients of Bharat Ratna.

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Congress did well in AP (34), Maharashtra (31), Bihar (39), Madras (31) and UP (62). CPI did well in Kerala, AP, WB and Tripura, still considered as its bastion till recently except T. Nadu.

Name of Party Seats Won Change Votes %
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS(INC) 361 (10) 45%
COMMUNIST  PARTY OF INDIA (CPI) 29 2 10%
PRAJA SOCIALIST PARTY (PSP) 12 (7) 7%
BHARTIYA JAN SANGH(BJS) 14 10 6%
SOCIALIST (SOC) 6 6 3%
SWATANTRA(SWA) 18 18 8%
OTHER STATE PARTIES 28 (3) 9%
REGISTERED UNRECOGNISED PARTIES 6 6 1%
INDEPENDENT(IND) 20 (22) 11%
Total 494   100%

Source: Statistical Report, Election Commission of India, 1962; Wikipedia

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 12.7 crores (2009 elections 71.4 crores)
  • Voting % was 55.4% (2009 elections 59.7%)
  • Multi-seat constituencies were discontinued in 1962.
  • 1,985 candidates participated, 4.02 per constituency (2009 average 14.86)
  • 43.1% candidates lost their deposits (2009 elections 84.6%)
  • Women MPs were 6% (2009 it increased to 11%)

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