India follows a bicameral Parliamentary system where the legislators are divided into two separate houses: the Lok Sabha which is the Lower House and the Rajya Sabha which is the Upper House.
The Lok Sabha is called House of the People because it is the common man of India which elects its members. The members, who are called Member of Parliament or MP, are elected by universal adult suffrage which means that all adults have an equal right to vote and their will be no discrimination on the basis of  caste, creed, sex, religion or social status. A chosen representative holds his seat for a maximum term of 5 years unless he is convicted by a court of law or the term is dissolved by the President of India on the advice of council of ministers.

According to the Constitution of India, the maximum strength of Lok Sabha is 552 members. This is made up of 530 members to represent each state of India, 20 members to represent the Union Territories and 2 members to be nominated by the President from the Anglo-Indian community. The 2014 Lok Sabha consists of 543 members.

Here’s a look at the strength of the Lok Sabha from 1951 to 2014:

– In 1951 and 1957, some constituencies had 2 or 3 seats so the winner and runner-up was treated as elected.
– In 1980, elections were not held in 12 seats of assam and 1 seat of Meghalaya.
– Elections on 27 seats of Assam and Punjab were held in 1984 instead of 1985.
– Elections on 13 seats of Punjab were held in 1992, Election was also countermanded in 2 seats of Bihar and 1 seat of UP.

Lok Sabha Elections:

Ever since we started to vote in 1951, India has seen 16 Lok Sabha Elections held till date with the next one scheduled in 2019.

1st Lok Sabha (1951-57): Although many believe that the first Lok Sabha elections took place in 1951, in reality only Himachal Pradesh voted in 1951 with rest of the country voting in 1952. Polling was held between 25th Oct 1951 and 27th Mar 1952. The first Lok Sabha was constituted on 17th April 1952 and ended on 4th April 1957. Congress won 364 seats out of 489 and Jawaharlal Nehru became the Prime Minister.

2nd Lok Sabha (1957-62): Polling was held between 24th Feb to 14th Mar 1957, Congress won 371 out of 494 seats. Jawaharlal Nehru was chosen the Prime Minister.

3rd Lok Sabha (1962-67): Polling was held between 19th Feb to 25th Feb 1962, Congress won 361 out of 494 seats. Jawaharlal Nehru was chosen the Prime Minister. Nehru died on 27th May 1964, so Gulzarilal Nanda was made the interim Prime Minister for 13 days. Lal Bahadur Shastri was chosen as the Prime Minister on 9th June 1964 but his death on 11th Jan 1966 again led to Gulzarilal Nanda becomign the interim PM for another 13 days. Later, Indira Gandhi became the Prime Minister of India on 24th Jan 1966.

4th Lok Sabha (1967-70): Polling was held between 17th Feb to 21st Feb 1967, Congress won 283 out of 520 seats. Indira Gandhi was chosen the Prime Minister but the Govt fell in 1970 when Congress spplit into two factions, INC(R) led by Indira Gandhi and INC(O) led by MPs opposed to her.

5th Lok Sabha (1971-75): Polling was held between 1st Mar to 10th Mar 1971, Congress won 352 seats out of 518. But on 12th June 1975, Allahabad High Court ruled that Indira Gandhi’s win was invalid due to electoral malpractices. Gandhi instead of resigning, suspended Democracy and called a state of emergency in India.

6th Lok Sabha (1977-1980): INC(O) joined with regional parties to form the Janata Dal. Polling was held between 16th Mar to 20th Mar 1977, Janata Party won 345 seats out of 542 and Morarji Desai became the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India but he was forced to resign in 1979. Charan Singh was made the Prime Minister on 28th July 1979 buut in absence of majority, his Govt did not last long.

7th Lok Sabha (1980-84): Polling was held between 3rd and 6th Jan 1980, Congress won 374 seats out of 542. Indira Gandhi’s assasination on 31st Oct 1984 led to the 8th Lok Sabha Elections.

8th Lok Sabha (1984-89): Polling was held between 24th to 28th Dec 1984, Congress won 404 seats out of 533. Punjab and Assam voted in 1985. Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister.

9th Lok Sabha (1989-91): Polling was held between 22nd Nov to 26th Nov 1989, none of the parties gained a majority. V.P.Singh of Janata Dal became the Prime Minister leading a minority coalition of Left Parties, BJP and JD. Chandra Shekhar broke away from JD in 1990 with 64 MPs and formed Samajwadi Janata Party. With support from Congress he became the Prime Minister but had to resign on 6th Mar 1991.

10th Lok Sabha (1991-96): Polling was held on 20th May, 12th June and 15th June 1991, none of the parties gained a majority, but Congress emerged as the largest party with 244 seats. Tthis was the election of Mandal and Ram Mandir Politics. After the first phase of polling on 20th May, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated at Sriperembudur. P.V. Narasimha Rao became the Prime Minister leading a minority Govt with support from Leftt Parties.

11th Lok Sabha (1996-1998): Polling was held on 27th April, 2nd May and 7th May 1996, none of the parties gained a majority. BJP with 187 seats formed a Govt thatt lasted 13 days as it was not able to find coalition partners. Then non-Congress, non-BJP parties came together to form the United Front and with outside support of Congress H D Deve Gowda became the Prime Minister. In April 1997, Congress withdrew itts support and then supported it again when A K Gujral became the PM. Meanwhile, fodder scam broke and Lalu left Janata Dal with 17 MPs to form Rashtriya Janata Dal. Subsequently, the Govt fell in 1998.

12th Lok Sabha (1998-99): Polling was held on 16th Feb, 22nd Feb and 28th Feb 1998, BJP led NDA emerged as the largest coalition with 254 seats and Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the Prime Minister of India. In late 1998, one of the coalition partners, AIADMK under J Jayalalitha, withdrew support of its 18 MPs and the Govt fell short of just 1 vote in the no-confidence motion on 17th April 1999.

13th Lok Sabha (1999-2004): Polling was held on 5th, 11th, 18th, 25th Sep and 3rd Oct 1999 and NDA gained 270 seats and with outside support of TDP’s 29 MPs, they formed the Govt. Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the Prime Minister of India.

14th Lok Sabha (2004-2009): Polling was held on 20th Apr, 26th Apr, 5th May and 10th May. Congress led UPA won 218 seats but it got external support from BSP, SP, Kerala Congress and Left Front taking its tally to 335 seats. Manmohan Singh became the Prime Minister.

15th Lok Sabha (2009-2014): Polling was held on 16th Apr to 13th May 2009. UPA won 262 seats and with support from BSP, SP, RJD, JD(S) and some others their tally was 322. Manmohan Singh was again chosen the Prime Minister.

16th Lok Sabha (2014-Current): Polling was held between 7th April to 12th May 2014, BJP with 282 seats out of 543 secuured majority on its own and NDA together got 336 seats. Narendra Modi was chosen the Prime Minister of India.

State-Wise Number of Constituencies

2014 Election Results:

2009 Election Results:

UPA Vs NDA Vs Third Front Vs Others

Once the reign of Congress ended in 1989, coalition politics came to the fore front in India. With rise of regional leaders and ttheir asserting ways, the Center Govt soon started to be formed by a group of parties mainly supported by these smaller regional parties.

In 1989, The National Front alliance was formed which was led by Janata Dal. In 1996 elections almost the same set of parties came together to form the Unitted Front. These set of parties are also often referred to as the Third Front and now include JD(U), RJD, TMC, Left Front, NCP and others.

NDA or National Democratic Alliance was formed in 1998, led by BJP. NDA started with 13 parties and in 2014 elections it had 47 parties supporting it. 14 of these parties have members in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

UPA or United Progressive Alliance was formed in 2004, led by Congress. UPA is reduced to just 10 parties now and only four of these have members in Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha.

Here’s a look at how NDA, UPA, Third Front and Others have faired in Parliamentary Elections over the years:

Prime Minister Candidates 2019

Narendra Modi

Narendra Damodardas Modi is an Indian politician who is the 14th and current Prime Minister of India, in office since May 2014. He was the Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014, and is the Member of Parliament for Varanasi.

Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi; is an Indian politician, who serves as the Vice-President of the Indian National Congress party and the Chairperson of the Indian Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India.

Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee is an Indian politician who has been Chief Minister of West Bengal since 2011. She is the first woman to hold the office.

Nitish Kumar

Nitish Kumar is an Indian politician who has been Chief Minister of Bihar since February 2015. Previously he served as the Chief Minister of Bihar from 2005 to 2014.

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