India General (Lok Sabha) Elections

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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.