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Election 2019 A Complete Documentation & Analysis of Indian Parliamentary Elections Since 1952 (Set of 3 Volumes)

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Item Code: UAC771
Author: Tariq Ashraf
Language: English
Edition: 2020
ISBN: 9788194466833
Pages: 1683
Other Details 10.00 X 7.50 inch
Weight 3.13 kg
Book Description

India's 17th Loksabha election was the largest electoral exercise in the world. Spread over seven phases over 39 days, as many as 900 million people cast ballots nationwide at a million polling stations, spread across densely populated megacities and far-flung villages. Each phase lasted a single day, with the date varying by location. It was a feat of gargantuan proportions, requiring 12 million polling officials and cutting-edge technology. But just getting to the voters. some of whom live among the world's tallest mountains, its densest jungles and sweltering deserts - presents its own set of challenges.

Among those remote locales is the country's highest polling place - 15,256 feet above sea lev found in a village in the Spiti Valley of the Himalayas, where just 48 voters live.

The Election Commission had to negotiate a long list of potential obstacles when scheduling the poll: it took school exams, holidays, festivals, the harvest and even the monsoon into account. The organisational challenge of the polling was huge. Election officials not only accounted for the most isolated voters, but also provided efficient systems for those in the country's teeming cities. "Democracy doesn't get much simpler than one person, one vote. But what happens when that one person is a hermit living alone in a jungle temple surrounded by lions, leopards and cobras, miles from the nearest town? The election comes to him".

In addition to the poll workers, tens of thousands of troops were deployed throughout the election to prevent party activists from interfering in the process and subdue potential outbreaks of violence.

While voters in the United States and elsewhere continue to argue the merits and security of electronic voting, India has been using secure electronic machines since 1999. Beginning in 2014, the government introduced a second machine, a printer that deposits a hard copy of each ballot into a sealed box, ensuring an additional layer of redundancy and security.

More than 8,000 candidates representing more than 2,000 political parties vied for 543 available seats.

Election Size

The data backing the India's 17th Loksabha elections is simply staggering: 8251 candidates from 464 parties wooing 900 Million voters (83 million first-time voters) for 545 seats in the presence of 11 million poll workers, 4 million electronic voting machines, 1 million polling booths and the world's largest election, or better yet the largest exercise in democratic history.

Every time India goes to the polls, it is touted as a marvel in democratic history. The volume of voters itself is overwhelming but it is where these voters are, in the most destitute and remote areas and how polling booths are set up in these places.

The Election Commission has declared that no individual should travel more than two kilometers to cast their vote, this if they live in the middle of the Himalayas or in the middle of a dense jungle. Even in the most penurious of populations, India's voting is electronic. There are no paper votes, punch cards or hanging chads.

Vote Share

The Bharatiya Janata Party garnered 37.4% of the votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The NDA as a whole, received nearly 45% of the vote. This is the highest vote share received by the party nation-wide in any Lok Sabha election since the party was (re)formed in 1980.

In contrast, the Congress party failed to improve on its vote share from 2014 and gathered 19.5% of the total votes.

The BJP and its allies have not only increased their respective vote shares and seat shares from 2014, but also expanded their geographic reach in electoral success. Only the southern States, such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, have bucked the trend.

The dominant victory of the BJP and its allies - by repeating the 2014 win, and then some - suggests that the era of coalitions (and/or a central government with a relatively weak national party in power) determining the balance of power at Delhi has decisively come to an end. This period, which began in 1977 following the end of Emergency, extended till 2014 with the notable exception of the Congress rule (with PM Rajiv Gandhi at the helm) between 1984 and 1989.

This period when the BJP came to power in 2014 can be characterised as the beginning of a new single-party hegemonic system in Indian politics that was akin to what prevailed since Independence during the days of the "Congress system". The 2019 Lok Sabha election trends clearly affirmed this.

Voter Size

In 2019, the number of voters increased to 902 million and the number of polling booths to over a million. However, overall voter turnout did not increase. The number of seats contested by women was also almost the same, except in West Bengal and Odisha, where the governing parties took the initiative of selecting more women candidates. In 2019, the number of millionaire candidates continued to be prominent; the same was the case for those with criminal backgrounds.

Compared to earlier CMS field studies, a high percentage of voters acknowledged or confirmed receiving cash directly for their vote directly, and that this had happened to other voters.

Election Expenditure

According to a report by Centre for Media Studies the Bharatiya Janata Party spent close to Rs 27,000 crore in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections, The amount was 45% of the total expenditure of Rs 60,000 crore, which is more than what was spent in 2014. The report has called the 2019 General Elections the "most expensive election ever, anywhere".

The BJP spent about 20% of the total poll expenditure in 1998, against about 45% in 2019, the report said. The Congress, on the other hand, had spent about 40% of total expenditure in 2009, and this has now gone down to 15%-20%.

The report, based on secondary information, field studies and analysis, calculated that Rs 700 was spent per voter. This came up to nearly Rs 100 crore in each parliamentary constituency. According to the report, around Rs 12,000 crore to Rs 15,000 crore was distributed directly to voters, while Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 25,000 crore was spent on publicity. Logistics accounted for about Rs 5,000 crore, formal expenditure was between Rs 10,000 crore and Rs 12,000 crore, while miscellaneous expenses were about Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 6,000 crore.

The report described the 2019 Lok Sabha polls "a watershed election". The major source of poll funding is now corporate. "Crowd funding where citizen and community contributes for campaigns is no longer a sought after source," said the report.

For the first time, the report also confirmed that "bank transfers" of money on the eve of polling has become a new route to lure voters. In the wake of reports. that the government-Centre or state-had transferred certain amounts to farmers in some states and women in Andhra Pradesh, voter respondents were specifically asked about it. A quarter of them said the government did transfer money to someone or the other in their community, and that they were informed of such a transfer. One-sixth of the respondents acknowledged that their own bank accounts received such transfers, from either the Centre or state, in the last one month.


India, the world's largest democracy, conducts the biggest electoral celebration across the globe with topnotch finesse and precision. Held every five years, the elections to Indian Parliament have earned themselves international accolades and well-deserved respect. The national agencies involved in such gigantic scale of operations continue to trail blaze the field of election management.

Spread over a month, the Lok Sabha elections create unparalleled amount of data and myriad statistics. The present publication, which began in the year 2004, involves rigorous research to organize the data and its in-depth analysis for the benefit of scholars and students of electoral studies.

The book is a mine of information that provides complete data of all the 17 elections held so far and is a very useful reference source for social scientists, researchers and policy makers interested in India's élections.

I immensely appreciate the author of this great publication, Dr.Tariq Ashraf and congratulate him for undertaking this monumental study. I am sure that the publication will be a welcome addition to the treasure of election studies and will serve as an important reference source for libraries both in India and abroad.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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