2009 Indian general election
India held general elections to the 15th Lok Sabha in five phases between 16 April 2009 and 13 May 2009. With an electorate of 714 million, it was the largest democratic election in the world till the Indian General Elections 2014 held from 7 April 2014. By constitutional requirement, elections to the Lok Sabha must be held every five years, or whenever Parliament is dissolved by the President of India; the previous election to the 14th Lok Sabha was conducted in May 2004 and its term would have expired on 1 June 2009. Elections are organised by the Election Commission of India and are held in multiple phases to better handle the large electoral base and its security concerns; the 2009 elections were held in five phases. In February 2009, Rs.11.20 billion was budgeted for election expenses by the Indian Parliament. A total of 8070 candidates contested for 543 Lok Sabha seats; the average election turnout over all 5 phases was around 56.97%. The results of the election were announced within three days of phase five, on 16 May 2009, following the first past the post system.
The United Progressive Alliance led by the Indian National Congress formed the government after obtaining the majority of seats based on strong results in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Manmohan Singh became the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962 to be re-elected after completing a full five-year term; the UPA was able to put together a comfortable majority with support from 322 members out of 543 members of the House. Though this is less than the 335 members who supported the UPA in the last parliament, UPA alone had a plurality of over 260 seats as opposed to 218 seats in the 14th Lok Sabha. External support came from the Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal, Rashtriya Janata Dal and other minor parties. On 22 May 2009, Manmohan Singh was sworn in as the Prime Minister at the Ashoka Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan; the election, while following the normal five-year cycle, came after a break in the old UPA alliance after the left parties withdrew support of the Indo-US nuclear deal forcing a vote of confidence.
The 2009 elections adopted re-drawn electoral constituencies based on the 2001 census, following the 2002 Delimitation Commission of India, whose recommendations were approved in February 2008. In the 2009 general elections, 499 out of the total 543 Parliamentary constituencies were newly delimited constituencies; this affected the National Capital Region of Delhi, the Union Territory of Puducherry and all the states except Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand and Nagaland. While comparing election results, it must be borne in mind that in many instances a constituency with the same name may reflect a different population demographic as well as a altered geographical region; as in the 2004 election, this election was conducted using electronic voting machines, with 1,368,430 voting machines deployed across the country. There were 828,804 Polling Stations around the country – a 20% increase over the number from the 2004 election; this was done to avoid vulnerability to threat and intimidation, to overcome geographical barriers and to reduce the distance travelled by voters.
The CEC announced that the polling station in Banej village in the Una segment of Junagadh, Gujarat had the unique claim to being the only polling station in the country that catered to a single elector – Guru Shree Bharatdasji Bapu, a priest of a Shiva temple in the middle of the Gir Forest. The electoral rolls had to be updated because of the delimitation that took effect from February 2008; the process of updating the electoral rolls continued until the last date of filing nominations. 714 million people were eligible to vote in 2009, up 6.4% from 2004. This election saw the entire country except the states of Assam and Jammu & Kashmir use photo electoral rolls; this meant that the photo of each elector was printed on the electoral rolls and this was intended to facilitate easy identification and prevent impersonations. In addition to the photo electoral rolls, the electors needed to provide separate photo identification; those electors, issued Electoral Photo Identification Cards were only permitted to use the EPIC for identification at the polling station.
According to the EC, 82% of the country's electors have been issued EPIC before the 2009 election was announced. The Chief Election Commissioner of India, N. Gopalaswami, had stated on 28 December 2008, that the elections were to be held between April and May 2009, he attributed this schedule to the examination period from February to March, making polling places unavailable. On 31 January 2009, fractures within the Election Commission came to the fore when Gopalaswami recommended to President Pratibha Patil that Election Commissioner Navin Chawla be sacked for behaving in a partisan manner; this recommendation in itself was controversial, as it was unclear if a CEC had the legal and constitutional right to provide such a unilateral recommendation. Chawla refused to resign as he was expected to take over the post of Chief Election Commissioner a few months later; this controversy resulted in speculation that the Election Commission was unable to agree on the actual polling dates, with the incumbent CEC Gopalaswami preferring that at least one phase of elections be held before his retirement on 20 April 2009.
Navin Chawla, on the other hand, wanted the election to only start after Gopalaswami retire
1957 Indian general election
The Indian general election of 1957, held from 24 February to 9 June, was the second election to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India. They were held five years after the first general election, according to the provisions of the Constitution of India. Elections to many state legislatures were held simultaneously. There were 494 seats elected using first past the post voting system. Out of the 403 constituencies, 91 elected two members, while the remaining 312 elected a single member; the multi-seat constituencies were abolished before the next election. Under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, the Indian National Congress won a second term in power, taking 371 of the 494 seats, they gained an extra seven seats and their vote share increased from 45.0% to 47.8%. The INC won nearly five times more votes than the second largest party. In addition, 19.3% of the vote and 42 seats went to independent candidates, the highest of any Indian general election. The first instance of booth capturing in India was recorded in 1957 in the General Elections of that year in Rachiyahi, in Begusarai's Matihani assembly seat.
Election Commission of India Booth capturing Indian presidential election, 1957
2004 Indian general election
Legislative elections were held in India in four phases between 20 April and 10 May 2004. Over 670 million people were eligible to vote; the Lok Sabha, or "House of the People," is the directly elected lower house of the Parliament of India. On 13 May, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and its alliance National Democratic Alliance conceded defeat; the Indian National Congress, which had governed India for all but five years from independence until 1996, returned to power after a record eight years out of office. It was able to put together a comfortable majority of more than 335 members out of 543 with the help of its allies; the 335 members included both the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, the governing coalition formed after the election, as well as external support from the Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party, Kerala Congress and the Left Front.. Congress President Sonia Gandhi surprised observers by declining to become the new prime minister, instead asking former Finance Minister Manmohan Singh, a respected economist, to head the new government.
Singh had served in the Congress government of Prime Minister Narasimha Rao in the early 1990s, where he was seen as one of the architects of India's first economic liberalisation plan, which staved off an impending national monetary crisis. Despite the fact that Singh had never won a Lok Sabha seat, his considerable goodwill and Sonia Gandhi's nomination won him the support of the UPA allies and the Left Front. Seven states held assembly elections to elect state governments along with the parliamentary elections; the election dates for the parliamentary elections were: 20 April - 141 constituencies 26 April - 137 constituencies 5 May - 83 constituencies 10 May - 182 constituencies Counting began on 13 May. Over 370 million of the 675 million eligible citizens voted, with election violence claiming 48 lives, less than half the number killed during the 1999 election; the Indian elections were held in phases in order to maintain order. A few states considered; the average enrolment of voters in each constituency is 1.2 million, although the largest constituency has 3.1 million.
The Election Commission of India is responsible for deciding the dates and conducting elections according to constitutional provisions. The Election Commission employed more than a million electronic voting machines for these elections. According to the magazine India Today, 115.62 billion rupees were expected to have been spent in campaigning for the elections by all political parties combined. Most of the money was spent on the people involved in the election; the Election Commission limited poll expenses to Rs. 2.5 million per constituency. Thus, the actual spending is expected to have been 10 times the limit. About 6.5 billion rupees are estimated to have been spent on mobilising 150,000 vehicles. About a billion rupees are estimated to have been spent on helicopters and aircraft. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had recommended premature dissolution of the 13th Lok Sabha to pave the way for early elections in view of the recent good showing of the BJP in the Assembly elections in four states.
The two "major parties" in India are the Congress. The Chief Election Commissioner who conducted the 2004 general elections in India was T. S. Krishnamurthy In these elections, compared to all the Lok Sabha elections of the 1990s, the battle was more of a head-to-head contest in the sense that there was no viable third front alternative; the contest was between BJP and its allies on one hand and Congress and its allies on the other. The situation did, show large regional differences; the BJP fought the elections as part of the National Democratic Alliance, although some of its seat-sharing agreements were made with strong regional parties outside of the NDA such as Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu. Ahead of the elections there were attempts to form a Congress-led national level joint opposition front. In the end, an agreement could not be reached, but on regional level alliances between Congress and regional parties were made in several states.
This was the first time that Congress contested with that type of alliances in a parliamentary election. The left parties, most notably the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India, contested on their own in their strongholds West Bengal and Kerala, confronting both Congress and NDA forces. In several other states, such as Punjab and Andhra Pradesh, they took part in seat sharings with Congress. In Tamil Nadu they were part of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam -led Democratic Progressive Alliance. Two parties refused to go along with either Congress or BJP, Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party. Both are based in the largest state of India. Congress made several attempts to form alliances with them, but in vain. Many believed; the result was a four-cornered contest in UP, which didn't hurt or benefit Congress or BJP significantly. Most analysts believed; the economy had shown steady growth in the last few months and the disinvestment of government owned production units (a continuation of India's liberalisation policies initiated in the e
2014 Indian general election
The Indian general election, 2014 was held to constitute the 16th Lok Sabha, electing members of parliament for all 543 parliamentary constituencies. Running in nine phases from 7 April to 12 May 2014, it was the longest election in the country's history. According to the Election Commission of India, 814.5 million people were eligible to vote, with an increase of 100 million voters since the last general election in 2009, making it the largest election in the world. Around 23.1 million or 2.7% of the total eligible voters were aged 18–19 years. A total of 8,251 candidates contested for the 543 Lok Sabha seats; the average election turnout over all nine phases was around 66.40%, the highest in the history of Indian general elections. The results were declared on 16 May 2014, 15 days before the 15th Lok Sabha completed its constitutional mandate on 31 May 2014; the counting exercise was held at 989 counting centres. The National Democratic Alliance won a sweeping victory; the BJP won 31.0% votes, the lowest share for a party to form a majority government in India since independence, while NDA's combined vote share was 38.5%.
BJP and its allies won the right to form the largest majority government since the 1984 general election, it was the first time since that election that a party has won enough seats to govern without the support of other parties. The United Progressive Alliance, led by the Indian National Congress, won 59 seats, 44 of which were won by the Congress, that won 19.3% of all votes. It was the Congress party's worst defeat in a general election. In order to become the official opposition party in India, a party must gain 10% of the seats in the Lok Sabha. Due to this fact, India remains without an official opposition party; as per the requirements of the Indian Constitution, elections to the Lok Sabha must be held at an interval of five years or whenever parliament is dissolved by the president. The previous election, to the 15th Lok Sabha, was conducted in April–May 2009, its term would have expired on 31 May 2014; the election to the 16th Lok Sabha was organised and conducted by the Election Commission of India and was held in multiple phases, to better handle the large electoral base and security concerns.
Since the last general election in 2009, the anti-corruption movement by Anna Hazare, other similar moves by Baba Ramdev and Arvind Kejriwal, gathered momentum and political interest. Kejriwal went on to form a separate political party, Aam Aadmi Party, in November 2012; the 2012 presidential election resulted in Pranab Mukherjee of Indian National Congress becoming the president. Andhra politics was further shaken following the death of its chief minister, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, his son, Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy broke from the INC and founded the YSR Congress Party, taking several politicians with him; the final session of parliament ended on 21 February. Amongst the agenda in the final session was passing The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2013 in tackling corruption and the creation of Telangana; the Cabinet of India revised the limit of election expenditure by a candidate for parliamentary constituencies to ₹7 million in bigger states and to ₹5.4 million in smaller states and all union territories except Delhi.
This revision of the ceiling on the elections were attributed to the increase in the number of electors and polling stations as well as the increase in the cost inflation index. Satyendra Singh, a doctor with a disability, showed the lack of preparedness by the Election Commission of India towards electors with disabilities through the Right to Information Act; the Chief Electoral Officer in Delhi, Vijay Dev started a campaign on providing accessibility for the disabled, along with him. Singh conducted sensitisation workshops for election officers and helped in setting up a registration link for voters with disabilities to register to vote and provide their requirements; the Chief Election Commissioner of India, V. S. Sampath, announced the polling schedule on 5 March. Voting was scheduled to be held in nine phases from 7 April to 12 May, the results of the election were announced on 16 May. Simultaneous elections were held for the Vidhan Sabhas of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim.
Important issues during the campaign included high inflation, lack of jobs, economic slow down, corruption and terrorism, religious division and communalism, infrastructure such as roads and water. In another survey by Zee News for about 14% of people, corruption is the main issue in the election. Bloomberg highlighted India's slowing economy amidst a record high current account deficit and a falling rupee in summer 2013, it pointed out a lack of infrastructure investment and a government likely to give subsidies that the national finances cannot afford just before the election. Other points it mentioned were an inefficient bureaucracy; the economy was the main issue in the campaign. The lack of a clear mandate as a result of the election could lead to an increase in the price of gold in the country. Modi brought up the issue of farmer suicides that resulted from high debt and poor yield on their crops. Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha criticised the incumbent Chidambaram in saying that he had a "habit that he will get a strong economy, he will ruin it before he leaves...
Shri Chidambaram will be remembered in history as a spoiler, as someone who specialises in sub-five per cent growth rate, for his hubris, arrogance". During the UPA-2 government, a number of scams came to public attention, deteriorating the image of
Adivasi is the collective term for the indigenous peoples of mainland South Asia. Adivasi make up 8.6% of India's population, or 104 million people, according to the 2011 census, a large percentage of the Nepalese population. They comprise a substantial indigenous minority of the population of India and Nepal and a minority group of the Sri Lankan society called Vedda; the same term Adivasi is used for the ethnic minorities of Bangladesh and the native Tharu people of Nepal. The word is used in the same sense in Nepal, as is another word, although the political context differed under the Shah and Rana dynasties. Adivasi societies are prominent in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, some north-eastern states, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Many smaller tribal groups are quite sensitive to ecological degradation caused by modernisation. Both commercial forestry and intensive agriculture have proved destructive to the forests that had endured swidden agriculture for many centuries.
Adivasis in central part of India have been victims of the Salwa Judum campaign by the Government against the Naxalite insurgency. The word Adivasi means the first inhabitants or the Indigenous People, a phrase recognised by the Supreme Court of India Although terms such as atavika, vanavāsi, or girijan are used for the tribes of India, adivāsi carries the specific meaning of being the original and autochthonous inhabitants of a given region, it is a modern Sanskrit word coined for that purpose in the 1930s, from ādi'beginning, origin' and vāsin'dweller', thus meaning ‘original inhabitant’. Over time, unlike the terms "aborigines" or "tribes", the word "adivasi" has developed a connotation of past autonomy disrupted during the British colonial period in India and not yet having been restored. In India, opposition to usage of the term is varied. Critics argue that the "original inhabitant" contention is based on the fact that they have no land and are therefore asking for a land reform; the adivasis argue that they have been oppressed by the "superior group" and that they require and demand a reward, more land reform.
Adivasi issues are not related to land reforms but to the historical rights to the forests that were alienated during the colonial period and India made a law to'undo the historical injustice' committed to the AdivasisIn Northeast India, the term adivāsi applies only to the Tea-tribes imported from Central India during colonial times. A substantial list of Scheduled Tribes in India are recognised as tribal under the Constitution of India. Tribal people constitute 8.6% of the nation's total population, over 104 million people according to the 2011 census. One concentration lives in a belt along the Himalayas stretching through Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand in the west, to Assam, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland in the northeast. In the northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland, more than 90% of the population is tribal. However, in the remaining northeast states of Assam, Manipur and Tripura, tribal peoples form between 20 and 30% of the population.
Other tribal peoples, including the Santhals, Munda, Ho live in Jharkhand and West Bengal. Central Indian states have the country's largest tribes, taken as a whole 75% of the total tribal population live there, although the tribal population there accounts for only around 10% of the region's total population. Smaller numbers of tribal people are found in Odisha in eastern India. About one percent of the populations of Kerala and Tamil Nadu are tribal, whereas about six percent in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are members of tribes; the term'Scheduled Tribes' first appeared in the Constitution of India. Article 366 defined scheduled tribes as "such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this constitution". Article 342, reproduced below, prescribes procedure to be followed in the matter of specification of scheduled tribes. Hindu Marriage Act is not applicable to the members of the Scheduled Tribe as per Section 2 of the Hindu Marriage Act.
If that be so, the directions issued by the Family Court under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act is not applicable to the appellant." The tribal people observe their festivals, which have no direct conflict with any religion, they conduct marriage among them according to their tribal custom. They have their own way of life to maintain all privileges in matters connected with marriage and succession, according to their customary tribal faith. Art. 15 - Special provisions for advancement of other backward classes. 29 - Protection of Interests of Minorities. 46 - The State shall promote, with special care, the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation, Art. 350 - Right to conserve distinct Language, Script or Culture. 350 - Instruction in Mother Tongue. Art. 23 - Prohibition of traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar form of forced labour Art.
24 - Forbidding Child Labour. Art.244 - Clause Provisions of Fifth Schedule shall apply to the administration
1980 Indian general election
India held general elections to the 7th Lok Sabha in January 1980. The Janata Party alliance came into power after the elections to the 6th Lok Sabha held in 1977, riding the public anger against the Congress and the Emergency but its position was weak; the loose coalition held on to a majority with only 295 seats in the Lok Sabha and never quite had a firm grip on power. Bharatiya Lok Dal leader Charan Singh and Jagjivan Ram, who had quit the Congress, were members of the Janata alliance but they were at loggerheads with Prime Minister Morarji Desai; the tribunals the government had set up to investigate human rights abuses during the Emergency appeared vindictive. The Janata Party, an amalgam of socialists and nationalists, split in 1979 when several coalition members such as the Bharatiya Lok Dal plus several members of the erstwhile Socialist Party withdrew support to the government. Subsequently, Desai resigned. Charan Singh, who had retained some partners of the Janata alliance, was sworn in as Prime Minister in June 1979.
Congress promised to support Singh in parliament but backed out just two days before the Govt was scheduled to prove its majority on the floor of Lok Sabha. Charan Singh, forced to resign, called for elections in January 1980 and is the only Prime Minister of India never to have faced parliament. In the run up to the general elections, Indira Gandhi's leadership faced a formidable political challenge from a galaxy of regional satraps and prominent leaders of Janta party like Satyendra Narayan Sinha and Karpuri Thakur in Bihar, Ramakrishna Hegde in Karnataka, Sharad Pawar in Maharashtra, Devi Lal in Haryana & Biju Patnaik in Orissa. However, internal feud between Janata Party leaders and the political instability in the country worked in favour of Indira Gandhi's Congress, that reminded voters of the strong government of Indira Gandhi during campaigning. In the ensuing elections, the Congress won 353 Lok Sabha seats in January 1980 and the Janata Party, or what remained of the alliance, won only 31 seats, whereas Charan Singh's Janata Party won 41 seats.
The Janata Party alliance continued to split over the subsequent years but it had recorded in 1977 a few important landmarks in the political history of India: it was the first coalition to govern India. State Assembly elections in India, 1980 Election Commission of India Indian presidential election, 1977
1971 Indian general election
India held general elections to the 5th Lok Sabha in March 1971. This was the fifth election since independence in 1947; the 27 Indian states and union territories were represented by 518 constituencies, each with a single seat. Under the leadership of Indira Gandhi, the Indian National Congress led a campaign which focussed on reducing poverty and won a landslide victory, overcoming a split in the party and regaining many of the seats lost in the previous election. During her previous term, there had been internal divisions in the Indian National Congress between Indira Gandhi and the party establishment Morarji Desai. In 1969, she was expelled from the party. Most of the Congress MPs and grassroots support joined Gandhi's Indian National Congress faction, recognised by the Election Commission as being the successor to the previous party. 31 MPs who opposed Gandhi became the Indian National Congress party. INC formed a pre-poll alliance with Samyukta Socialist Party, Praja Socialist Party, Swatantra party and Bharatiya Jana Sangh to defeat INC but the opposition coalition was badly trounced and lost more than half of their seats.
Despite the split, the Ruling faction gained votes and seats to win a strong majority, whereas the Organization faction lost half of their seats. On 12 June 1975, the Allahabad High Court invalidated the result in Gandhi's constituency on the grounds of electoral malpractices. Instead of resigning, Indira Gandhi called a state of emergency, suspending democracy and outlawed political opposition. After democracy was restored in 1977, the opposition Congress faction formed a coalition of parties called the Janata Party, which inflicted the Congress' first electoral defeat. State Assembly elections in India, 1971 Election Commission of India Indian presidential election, 1969