No party has ever won over 50% votes, says Pranab Mukherjee
Former president Pranab Mukherjee said on Thursday that political parties must keep in mind the large number of people who did not vote for them even if they come to power with a huge mandate.
Addressing a seminar in the Rajasthan Assembly, Mukherjee said some Lok Sabha elections had been won by massive majorities, but the vote share of no party has ever crossed the 50% mark.
“Surprisingly, there have been massive majorities but not more than half of the Indian voters have given their mandate in favour of a party -- not in the past, not in the present, never to the Congress, never to any other party, including the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party],” he said.
Mukherjee said Rajiv Gandhi had won 404 of 514 Lok Sabha seats in the 1984 elections and Jawaharlal Nehru 372 out of 520 seats in the 1962 elections, but no party had ever pocketed 51% of the total votes polled.
“The Indian electorate tells the ruling party, ‘I am giving you enough seats to form the government but please remember you do not have our total mandate’. That means you have to carry along those who have not voted for you because they are the people of this sovereign democratic republic,” he added.
The former president’s address comes months after the BJP returned to power with a massive majority in the April-May general elections, bagging 303 Lok Sabha seats. Its vote share was about 40%.
The seminar was jointly organized by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Rajasthan chapter) and the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS).