General Elections 2014
The general elections of 2014 will be the 16th Lok Sabha elections of independent India. This election will be held in every parliamentary constituency across India, which will elect members of the parliament, who will in turn form the next central government in India. The Constitutional term of 15th Lok Sabha, the current parliament, will complete on 31 May 2014.
Latest Development and UpdatesGeneral Elections 2014 – Day 5
Congress Up Against Several Challenges in Andhra after Creation of Telangana
Politicians need loads of luck, especially where the variables they have to deal with increase many fold. Sharad Pawar's luck once again came to his rescue when his helicopter made a "safe" emergency landing. Looks like, with lifeline card of his "helicopter luck card" used early in elections, he would need to seriously consider other means of transport. Jaspal Bhatti's widow Savita Bhatti made AAP's calculations go "ulta-pulta" in Chandigarh, she has withdrawn her…read more
General Elections 2014 Day 4
Congress must be ruing its decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. This has multiplied partys woes, dampened poll prospects and diluted the brand image before the people of the state. On the one hand, it is the judicial scrutiny and on the other it is the peoples verdict against them. Let me cite two developments that are fast changing the political arithmetic for Congress. It was only two days ago that creation of Telangana came under…read more
Today Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Chief Arvind Kejriwal ended his 4-day tour of Gujarat with a rally and a road show in Ahmedabad. Though he did not have prior permission, the rally continued to be peaceful except for a brief interruption by the police. During the day, he paid a visit to Sabarmati Ashram. Was it Sabarmati that woke Gandhis non violence traits in him, making him quote, Forgive the violence, there was no…read more
Present 15th Lok Sabha - An Overview
The current government is by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA 2), which is a grand alliance of six political parties, headed by the Indian National Congress (having 206 seats), and supported from outside by 10 more parties. The main opposition of the current 15th Lok Sabha is headed by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which is a grand alliance of 11 political parties, headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (having 117 seats). Another political space is also there, which includes parties such as Left parties, All India Trinamool Congress, AIADMK, JD(U), BJD, and else.
Major Political Parties in the Upcoming 16th General Election 2014 - An Overview
In 2014 parliamentary election, the main contenders are Indian National Congress (INC), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Left Parties (CPIM, CPI, FB, RSP, etc.) and many other regional parties (AIADMK, JD(U), BJD, TMC, DMK, and many more). Another regional political party, which has recently announced its plans of contesting pan India, is the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which many say is going to be the biggest spoiler or game changer in the upcoming General Elections of 2014.
State wise Lok Sabha Parliamentary Constituency Seats in 16th General Elections
Overview of Issues that can Influence Voting Pattern
In 2014 Lok Sabha election there are many glaring issues that are going to play important role in the mandate. One of the main issues before the electorate is the unprecedented corruption throughout India. Other issues include poor growth of the economy, increasing inflation or significant price rise, slacking industrialization, lack of employment, farmer issues, and many more.
Capitalizing on corruption and governance issues, the BJP has come up with their Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, who is projected as the messiah of good governance, growth, and creator of 'Vibrant Gujarat'. Though he has a large and dedicated support from large sections of the Indian populace, there are his detractors too. Many see him as a divisive figure and also an instigator of the 2002 Gujarat riots. He is also perceived to be a follower of a economic model that is not bothered with betterment of Human Development Index. On the other hand, the INC is still undecided about their Prime Ministerial candidate. However, recent announcements from the current Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, of not running for the third term as PM candidate is seen by many as paving way for Rahul Gandhi, the scion of Nehru-Gandhi family. Besides these two major political parties, there are other regional players, secular forces and Left Forces, who can play important role in the formation of the 16th Parliament of India. Many see Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party to be a potential game changer in the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections, which is perceived to be a secular non-Congress and non-BJP party.
Major Political Parties and their PM Candidates
Major Political Parties
In India, there are two major political forces: the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Besides the two largest parties, some of the other significant political parties that can decide government-formation in the 16th Parliamentary Election include the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), the Left Parties (CPIM, CPI, FB, RSP, etc.), the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference, the Samajwadi Party, the YSR Congress Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC), the Shiv Sena, the Janata Dal (Secular), the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), etc.
Prime Ministerial Candidates for the 2014 Elections
Just a few months back, the contest for the Prime Minister's position was supposed to be between the BJP's Narendra Modi and the Congress's Rahul Gandhi. However, after the assembly elections, held in December 2013, it is clear that there is a strong anti-Congress sentiment among the voters, especially due to the unprecedented corruption allegations against the current UPA government at the centre. Interestingly, the Modi-factor is also not working as strong as it was perceived some months back. According to some analysts, the voting pattern shows that people are eager to cast their vote in the favour of a third force if a good and clean alternative is provided to them. The result of last Delhi Assembly election of 2013 is an indication towards that. In case of the rise of a 3rd alternative, the alliance will be post-poll rather than pre-poll and hence the choice of their prime ministerial candidate will be on the basis of prevailing political situation.
As per opinion polls conducted by various organisations, the mandate in the upcoming general elections of 2014 will be fractured. Neither the BJP nor the Congress is going to achieve the magic majority number of 272 seats for forming the government in the 545 member Lok Sabha. There are strong chances of the rise of a third secular alternative. With the rise of various regional parties and secular forces, chance of the 3rd alliance forming the government with the outside support of Congress or vice versa is pretty strong.
Conservative estimates of various opinion polls by the end of 2013, in aggregate, show that the BJP can get anywhere between 145 to 178 seats, while the Indian National Congress can get anywhere between 120 to 150 seats. The remaining void will be filled by the regional, secular, and left parties. Some political observers predict that there are high chances that the secular non-BJP and non-Congress parties can win around 221 seats.
In the recent past, the Indian electorate have seen 14 secular non-BJP and non-Congress parties sharing stage together, on the initiative of Left Parties. Many analysts predicted it to be the first step towards a third alternative. However, some recent developments like the unprecedented rise of a new political outfit called Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has offered more positive chances to the third alternative. The AAP projects itself as a non-Congress, non-BJP party. This new political outfit has not only received around 30% vote in the last Delhi Assembly election but their Chief Ministerial candidate, Arvind Kejriwal, has also become the Chief Minister of Delhi. In fact, they have also announced their intention of participating in the coming Lok Sabha elections. The AAP will contest on 80 parliamentary constituencies across 20 states, including Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. According to a recent opinion poll, the AAP will receive more than 44% votes in the top metropolises in India. If they manage to bag 30 or more seats, they can eat into the vote shares of both Congress and BJP and the prospect of 3rd alternative will be more feasible.
Campaigning Strategies of Various Parties
When it comes to strategising for 2014 Parliamentary Election, BJP has already chalked out a plan. The first and foremost strategy includes "Modi for PM" slogan, which is believed to be their main plank of campaign. Another innovative strategy is named "One vote, one note" mantra, through which they are trying to reach 10 crore families. According to this plan, the BJP wants to reach crores of families throughout India and collect funds from them, anything between Rs. 10 and Rs. 1,000. Another major strategy includes invoking nationalist sentiments, which they have already started with the Statue of Unity rally, related to building of the tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat. In fact, farmers and workers are called upon to chip in with soil and iron to make the project successful.
The Congress has to do a great amount of work in their strategy. Sonia Gandhi, the President of INC, is expected to chalk out a plan for the upcoming election, along with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra, especially after Dr. Manmohan Singh declared he will not be the Prime Ministerial candidate of Congress in the coming 2014 general election. Since Sonia Gandhi has an experience of running two consecutive coalition governments for two consecutive terms - 10 years at a stretch - she is expected to give important inputs on the next course of action. Rahul Gandhi, though not announced the PM candidate, will spearhead the campaigning. In fact, the first strategy, if available sources and their information is to be believed, will be to initiate a campaign, mainly through social media, to rebuild the image of Rahul Gandhi as an able administrator with sharp decision-making abilities. He will be projected as the leader who pitches against corruption. In fact, the Congress has to project itself as a party that does not support corruption, especially after so many accusations of unprecedented corruption against the current UPA government.
The regional parties have their own strategies, based upon regional demands mainly. The Left parties are also trying to prove their mettle, especially after they had been routed from West Bengal by Mamata Banerjee's TMC. The newest party on the block is the Aam Aadmi Party, who vouch to provide countrymen with a corruption-free governance with inclusive economics. These slogans are especially appealing to the urban populace and are expected to make significant dent in the vote banks of both the BJP and the Congress in the upcoming 2014 general election.
Lok Sabha Election Process
The entire election process includes certain steps such as announcement of election dates by ECI, bringing in 'model code of conduct' for all political parties participating in the general election, followed by result announcement, and submission of successful candidates' list to the executive head of either state or centre. The last step in this entire process is the result submission, which then paves way for government-formation.
The 2014 Lok Sabha election will see an electorate-base of more than 800 million. According to a top EC official, they already have come up with a list of electoral roll. However, this will be further updated in the coming days. Per the sources, the final list will be ready by January end. To ensure free, fair, and smooth election, the Election Commission will deploy around 1.1 crore polling personnel, half of them being security personnel. Before announcing the poll schedule, the Election Commission will hold a meeting with the Union Home Minister for finalizing the dates to deploy central paramilitary forces throughout India.
The Chief Electoral Officer is also holding meetings with DGPs of all the states to assess the strength of state forces that can be made available for the polls. As per estimates, there will be more than 8 lakh polling stations that will be set up across the country for polling. The process of finalizing names of the polling stations is also underway. Deployment of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) is also in the final stage. In fact, the Election Commission is expected to get around 2.5 lakh new EVMs by mid-February 2014.
Election Commission of India
The Election Commission of India (ECI) is a constitutionally established autonomous federal authority that is solely responsible to administer the entire electoral process that takes place in India. Its objective is to ensure free and fair election, whether it is Lok Sabha, Vidhan Sabha or local body elections. This autonomous body has a Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners. The two commissioners are appointed by President of India in consultation with the CEC. The current Chief Electoral Officer of India is V.S. Sampath.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO)
The Chief Electoral Officer of Election Commission is known as Chief Election Commissioner (CEC). Generally, a member of Indian Civil Services, especially belonging to Indian Administrative Services, becomes the CEC. The candidate is appointed by the President. In case the elected CEC is required to be removed for certain reasons, then 2/3rd of the Lok Sabha as well as Rajya Sabha has to vote against the person on charges of improper actions or disorderly conduct.
The 2009 Lok Sabha election was the first instance when the office of the Chief Election Commissioner was successful in implementing complete electronic ballot throughout the country, even in remote areas as well as for people who were illiterate.
Lok Sabha Election History
The General Election of 2014 is going to be the 16th Lok Sabha election of India.A brief history of the general elections in India is given below:
The first ever general election
was held in 1952, through which the Indian National Congress, led by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, assumed power. The INC won 245 seats out of 489 parliamentary constituencies across the then 26 states of India. On 17 April 1952, Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India.
The 2nd General Election
was held in 1957, when the INC formed the government, with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as the Prime Minister.
The 3rd General Election
was held in 1962, where the INC formed the government, with Nehru as the Prime Minister yet again. However, he was not able to complete his tenure because he passed away due to a heart stroke in 1964.
After Jawaharlal's demise, Gulzarilal Nanda became PM, but just for two weeks. He was succeeded by Lal Bahadur Shastri. After Mr. Shastri died in Tashkent of the then Soviet Union, Indira Gandhi was elevated to the position of Prime Minister.
The 4th General Election
was held in 1967, where the INC again formed the government, with Indira Gandhi as the Prime Minister. However, many problems made Indira call mid-term election and the full tenure of five years couldn't be completed.
The 5th General Election
took place in 1971 and Indira Gandhi had a landslide victory by campaigning on the famous slogan of 'garibi hatao' (eliminate poverty). During this tenure, she imposed Emergency on the country, which resulted in one of the darkest periods in Indian history. After Emergency was lifted on 12 June 1975, India went into the next election.
The 6th General Election
was held in the year 1977, which was convincingly won by the Janata Party led by Morarji Desai. On March 24, 1977, Morarji Desai became the first non-Congress PM of India. But the tenure was tumultuous. Mr. Desai lost the trust vote and in June 1979, Charan Singh became the Prime Minister.
The 7th General Election
took place in 1980 and Indira Gandhi was re-elected as the Prime Minister. However, he was assassinated on 31 October 1984. Her elder son Rajiv Gandhi was sworn in as interim PM. The next election was announced in November 1984.
The 8th General Election
was held in 1984-85 and Rajiv Gandhi became the youngest PM of India, riding on the sympathy wave following the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
The 9th General Election
was held in 1989, where Janata Dal coalition assumed power, with V.P. Singh as the prime minister (2 December 1989 - 10 November 1990). On 6 March 1991, Chandra Shekhar became the PM, but political instability led to the next election.
The10th General Election
took place in 1991 and the Congress had a decisive victory after Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by the LTTE during the polls. P.V. Narsimha Rao became the PM.
The 11th General Election
was held in 1996 and H.D. Deve Gowda became the PM.
The 12th General Election
was organized in 1998, which saw Atal Bihari Vajpayee of the BJP sworn in as the new PM.
The 13th General Election
took place in 1999 and Atal Bihari Vajpayee was sworn in as the PM.
The 14th General Election
took place in 2004 and the UPA came to power. Manmohan Singh became the Prime Minister.
The 15th General Election
was held in the year 2009 and UPA again came to power, with Manmohan Singh as the PM for the second consecutive time.
The 16th General Election
will take place in 2014.