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Lokasabha Election

India is a federation with a parliamentary system governed


under theConstitution of India, which defines the power distribution
between the union, or central, government and the states.
The President of India is the ceremonial head of state,[1] who is elected
indirectly for a five-year term by an electoral college comprising
members of national and state legislatures.[2][3]
The Prime Minister of India is the head of government and exercises
mostexecutive power.[4] Appointed by the president,[5] the prime minister
is by convention supported by the party or political alliance having a
majority of seats in the Lok Sabha or lower house of parliament.[4]

Election Commission[edit]
The Election Commission of India is an autonomous entity prescribed in
the Constitution of India. It is the federal authority responsible for
administering all the electoral processes of India and ensuring they are
free and fair.[6]
Elections are conducted according to constitutional provisions and
parliamentary legislation. These include the Representation of the
People Act, 1950, which mainly deals with the preparation and revision
of electoral rolls, and the Representation of the People Act, 1951 which
deals, in detail, with all aspects of the conduct of elections and post-
election disputes. The Supreme Court of India has held that where the
enacted laws are silent or make insufficient provision to deal with a given
situation in the conduct of elections, the Election Commission has the
residuary powers under the Constitution to act in an appropriate manner.
From 1947 to 16 October 1989, there was one Chief Election
Commissioner. From 1989 to 1 January 1990, there were two
commissioners. In 1990 of January, two chief commissioners were
abolished and election commission acted as a single-member body.
Again by The Election Commissioner Amendment Act, 1993 made the
Election Commission a multi-member body. On 1 October 1993, a
further two commissioners were appointed. Decisions are made by
majority vote.

Type of Elections[edit]
Elections in the Republic of India include elections for :

 Members of the Parliament in Lok Sabha,


 Members of State Legislative Assembly,
 Members of the Parliament in Rajya Sabha, and for
 Members in local panchayat or city corporation council.
General Elections (Lok sabha)[edit]
Members of Lok Sabha (House of the People) or the lower house of
India's Parliament are elected directly by voting, from a set of candidates
who stands in their respective constituencies. Every adult citizen of India
can vote only in their constituency. Candidates who win the Lok Sabha
elections are called 'Member of Parliament' and hold their seats for five
years or until the body is dissolved by the President on the advice of the
council of ministers. The house meets in the Lok Sabha Chambers of the
Sansad Bhavan in New Delhi, on matters relating to creation of new
laws, removing or improving the existing laws that affect all citizens of
India. This is the important election that takes place once in 5 years to
elect 545 members for the Parliament (Lower house). Narendra Modi is
the current prime minister of India.

State Assembly (Vidhan Sabha) Elections[edit]


Members of State Legislative Assembly, is elected directly by voting,
from a set of candidates who stands in their respective constituencies.
Every adult citizen of India can vote only in their constituency.
Candidates who win the State Legislative Assemblies elections are
called 'Member of Legislative Assembly' and hold their seats for five
years or until the body is dissolved by the Governor. The house meets in
the respective state, on matters relating to creation of new laws,
removing or improving the existing laws that affect all citizens living in
that state.
Total strength of each assembly depends on each State, mostly based
on size and population. Similar to Lok sabha elections, leader of the
majority party/alliance takes oath as Chief Minister of the State.

The 2019 Indian general election is currently being held in seven


phases from 11 April to 19 May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha.
The counting of votes will be conducted on 23 May, and on the same
day the results will be declared.[1][2][3][4] About 900 million Indian citizens
are eligible to vote in one of the seven phases depending on the region.
Legislative Assembly elections in the states of Andhra
Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim will be held
simultaneously with the general election.[5][6]
Electoral system
Official logo
All 543 elected MPs will be elected from single-member constituencies
usingfirst-past-the-post voting. The President of India nominates an
additional two members from the Anglo-Indian community if he believes
the community is under-represented.[7]
Eligible voters must be Indian citizens, 18 or older, an ordinary resident
of the polling area of the constituency and possess a valid voter
identification card issued by the Election Commission of India. Some
people convicted of electoral or other offences are barred from voting.[8]
The elections are being held on schedule and per the constitution of
India that mandates parliamentary elections once every five years.[9] The
details of the elections were announced by Election Commission of
India (ECI) on 10 March 2019, after which Model Code of Conduct
regulations for the elections came into immediate effect.[10]
Election schedule
The election schedule was announced on 10 March 2019, and with it
the Model Code of Conduct came into force.[11]

Election schedule
The election is scheduled to be held in seven phases, with counting
starting on 23 May. In Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, the
election will be held in all seven phases. The polling for
the Anantnag constituency in the state of Jammu and Kashmir will be
held in three phases, the first of its kind, due to violence in the region
that had prompted the ECI to cancel a bypoll in 2016, leaving it vacant
since then.[12]
Rescheduled voting, cancellations

 Vellore, Tamil Nadu: Over ₹11 crore (US$1.6 million) in cash was
seized in Vellore from DMK leaders – a regional party in Tamil Nadu.
According to the News Minute, this cash is alleged to have been for
bribing the voters.[13]Based on the evidence collected during the raids,
the Election Commission of India cancelled the April 18 election date
in the Vellore constituency. The DMK leaders have denied
wrongdoing and alleged a conspiracy.[14]
 Tripura East, Tripura: The Election Commission of India deferred
polling from April 18 to 23 due to the law and order situation. The poll
panel took the decision following reports from the Special Police
Observers that the circumstances were not conducive for holding free
and fair elections in the constituency.[15]
Campaigning
Main article: Campaigning in the 2019 Indian general election
Issues
Alleged institutional undermining
During the election campaign, the opposition parties have accused the
NDA government is destroying democratic institutions and processes.
Opposition party leaders such as Mamata Banerjee have campaigned
on this issue.[16] In response, Modi termed the allegations "a big joke",
stating that Congress and the communists had themselves undermined
institutions including the police, CBI and the CAG, and cited the murder
of BJP activists in Kerala and Madhya Pradesh.[17]
The Congress party, other opposition parties and a group of retired civil
servants have accused the Election Commission as being compromised
and as endorsing the model code of conduct violations by Narendra
Modi and other BJP political leaders during their 2019 campaign. They
state that such institutional failures undermine the 2019
elections.[18][19] Another group of 81 retired civil servants, judges and
academics have disputed these allegations, made counter-allegations,
and have stated that the Election Commission has acted fairly and
similarly in alleged violations by either side. The group states that such
political attacks on the Election Commission are a "deliberate attempt to
denigrate and delegitimize the democratic institutions of India".[19][20]
Economic performance
According to The Times of India, the major economic achievements of
the incumbent NDA government include an inflation rate less than 4
percent, the GST reform, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, its
programs in recent years that have positively touched many among the
Indian masses, programs such as the Jan Dhan Yojana, rural cooking
gas and electricity for homes.[21] According to the IMF, the Indian
economy has been growing in recent years, its GDP growth rate is
among the highest in the world for major economies, and India is
expected to be the fastest growing major economy in 2019-2020 and
2020-2021, with real GDP projected to grow at 7.3 percent.[22][23][24] The
GDP growth data has been disputed[21] by a group of Indian social
scientists, economists and the political opposition's election campaign,
while a group of Indian chartered accountants has defended the data,
the GDP calculation methodology, and questioned the motivations of
those disputing the recent Indian GDP statistics.[25]
The opposition's election campaign has claimed that both the
demonetization and GST law have "seriously hit small business, farmers
and casual labor", states The Times of India.[21][26] The incumbent has
claimed that they inherited a country from the previous Congress-led
government that was "a legacy of policy paralysis, corruption and
economic fragility", and that the BJP-led government policies have
placed India on better economic fundamentals and a fast gear.[27] Modi
claims that his government pursued demonetization in the national
interest, his government has identified and de-registered 338,000 shell
companies, identified and recovered ₹130,000 crore (US$19 billion) in
black money since 2014, and almost doubled India's tax base.[28][29] The
Congress party disputes the incumbents claims, and has alleged that
BJP offices have "become hubs of creating black money", and seeks a
judicial inquiry into the Rafale deal with France and BJP's role in
corruption.[30]
Income tax raids
In April 2019, raids conducted by the Income Tax department found
bundles of unaccounted for cash amounting to₹281
crore (US$41 million), along with liquor and documentary evidence in
premises of people with close connections to Madhya Pradesh chief
minister Kamal Nath of the Congress. Modi has highlighted this evidence
to attack the Congress in its election campaign, alleging corruption is
part of Congress party's culture.[31][32]
National security and terrorism
Further information: India–Pakistan border skirmishes (2019) and 2019
Balakot airstrike
In response to the 2019 Pulwama attack, the Indian Air
Force conducted airstrikes inside Pakistan — for the first time since
the 1971 Indo-Pak war. The country's ongoing conflict with Pakistan is
predicted to be a significant factor in this election. The opposition
accused Modi of politicising the army, whilst the BJP countered their
accusations by stating that such allegations raised by them were
adversely affecting the morale of India's armed forces.[33]
According to the Pew Research Center, both before and after the
outbreak of recent India-Pakistan tensions, their 2018 and 2019 surveys
suggest that the significant majority of the Indian voters consider
Pakistan as a "very serious threat" to their country, and terrorism to be a
"very big problem".[34][35]
Unemployment
Main article: Unemployment in India
According to the Pew Research Center, a significant majority of Indian
voters consider the lack of employment opportunities as a "very big
problem" in their country. "About 18.6 million Indians were jobless and
another 393.7 million work in poor-quality jobs vulnerable to
displacement", states the Pew report.[35]
A report on unemployment prepared by the National Sample Survey
Office's (NSSO's) periodic labour force survey, has not been officially
released by the government. According to Business Today, this report is
the "first comprehensive survey on employment conducted by a
government agency after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced
demonetisation move in November 2016". According to this report, the
2017–2018 "usual status"[note 1] unemployment rate in India at 6.1%, a
four-decade high.[36][note 1] The government has claimed that the report
was not final.[41]According to the International Labour Organization (ILO)
– a United Nations agency, unemployment is rising in India and the
"unemployment rate in the country [India] will stand at 3.5 percent in
2018 and 2019 – the same level of unemployment seen in 2017 and
2016", instead of dropping to 3.4 percent as it had previously
projected.[42] According to the ILO's World Employment Social Outlook
Report, the unemployment rate in India has been in the 3.4% to 3.6%
range over the UPA-government led 2009–2014 and the NDA-
government led 2014–2019 periods.[42]
Opposition parties have claimed in their election campaign that the
unemployment in India has reached crisis levels. The NDA government
has denied the existence of any job crisis.[43] Prime minister Narendra
Modi claimed that jobs are not lacking but the accurate data on jobs has
been lacking.[44][45]
The opposition has attacked the NDA government's performance with
the NSSO reported 6.1% unemployment data. Modi and his government
have questioned this job statistics report, stating that "most surveys that
try to capture unemployment rate are skewed since these did not cover
the unorganised sector, which accounts for 85-90 percent of jobs [in
India]".[46]
Social media abuses and fake news
According to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, the
2019 Indian election has attracted a systematic attempt to spread
misinformation through the social media.[53][54] Facebook claims that over
a hundred of these social media advocacy accounts spreading
disinformation about the 2019 Indian elections have been traced to
"employees of the Pakistani military public relations wing".[53][54] Some
others have been linked to the opposition Indian National
Congress,[54][53] as well as the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party.[54]
NaMo TV and Modi biopic
According to The Financial Times and other news sources, on March 31
2019, the cable and satellite operators added a new "NaMo TV" channel
to the dozens of news and entertainment channels they already
offer.[55][56][57] Further, independently, a Bollywood biopic named "PM
Narendra Modi" starring Vivek Oberoi was due for release in early April.
The NaMo TV channel exclusively focuses on replaying Narendra Modi’s
speeches, the live coverage of rallies by Modi and key leaders of the
Bharatiya Janata party, and presenting the incumbent government's
initiatives and achievements in the last five years to the audience that
chooses to tune to the channel.[55] The election time Bollywood biopic,
states The Financial Times, is "adulatory, which depicts his [Modi's] rise
from humble origins as the son of a railway station tea-seller to a
strongman who vows to avenge Pakistani terror attacks".[55]
The Indian opposition led by the Congress Party and activists opposed
to the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party have expressed outrage and
alleged that it violates India's election laws and the regulations on
"broadcast channels" under the Programme Codes of the Cable TV Act
of 1994.[55][56] The Bharatiya Janata party and its supporters claim that
this is an exercise of the "Right to Free Speech" protected by the Article
19 of the Indian Constitution, a means to address the bias against them
and to communicate directly to the voters.[55] They also claim that the
NaMo TV does not violate any regulations or laws, as similar "Direct-to-
Home (DTH) operator channels" have already been distributed by cable
and satellite operators in the past since 2006.[56] Others state that the
audience has a choice to ignore or tune into the channel, and "only
Modi's most devoted loyalists were likely to tune in". However, they state
that if the BJP pressures public facilities and commercial establishments
to show it exclusively during the elections then that would lead to an
abuse.[55] The Congress Party and activists have filed a complaint to the
Indian Election Commission, demanding that the NaMo TV channel be
stopped.[55] The Election Commission announced on April 12 that any
content broadcast on the NaMo TV must be pre-approved by its
committee, and only pre-certified content can be broadcast.[57] On April
13 2019, the BJP submitted the contents of NaMo TV to the Election
Commission designated "certification and monitoring committee" for its
review and pre-certification.[58] The Election Commission ruled on April
19 2019, that live speeches of Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders can
be broadcast on NaMo TV as well as Twitter platform tweets can be
broadcast by Rahul Gandhi and Congress leaders during the silence
period. However, neither should mention the constituency or candidates
covered by the silence period immediately prior to the polling date.[59]
The Election Commission of India has blocked the release of the Modi
biopic while the election is in progress.[60] The Bollywood movie
producers have appealed this "stay on the movie's release" to the
Supreme Court of India.[61

Election dates and number of


constituencies

Total
Pha Pha Pha Pha Pha Pha Pha
deState/UT constituen
se 1 se 2 se 3 se 4 se 5 se 6 se 7
cies

11 18 23 29 6 12 19
April April April April May May May

116
Progress 91 95 711⁄3 501⁄3 59 59
1
⁄3

Andhra
25 25
Pradesh

Arunachal
2 2
Pradesh

Assam 14 5 5 4

Bihar 40 4 5 5 5 5 8 8

Chhattisgar
11 1 3 7
h
Goa 2 2

Gujarat 26 26

Haryana 10 10

Himachal
4 4
Pradesh

Jammu and
6 2 2 ⁄3
1 [a]
⁄3
1 [a]
11⁄3[a]
Kashmir

Jharkhand 14 3 4 4 3

Karnataka 28 14 14

Kerala 20 20

Madhya
29 6 7 8 8
Pradesh

Maharashtra 48 7 10 14 17

Manipur 2 1 1

Meghalaya 2 2

Mizoram 1 1

Nagaland 1 1
Odisha 21 4 5 6 6

Punjab 13 13

Rajasthan 25 13 12

Sikkim 1 1

Tamil Nadu 39 38[b]

Telangana 17 17

Tripura 2 1 1

Uttar
80 8 8 10 13 14 14 13
Pradesh

Uttarakhand 5 5

West
42 2 3 5 8 7 8 9
Bengal

Andaman
and Nicobar 1 1
Islands

Chandigarh 1 1

Dadra and
Nagar 1 1
Haveli
Daman and
1 1
Diu

Delhi 7 7

Lakshadwee
1 1
p

Puducherry 1 1

Constituen 116
543 91 95 711⁄3 501⁄3 59 59
cies 1
⁄3

Total
constituenc 302 373 542[b
91 186 424 483
ies by end 1
⁄3 2
⁄3 ]

of phase

Percent
complete 100
17% 34% 56% 69% 78% 89%
by end of %
phase