Chronology of Lok Sabha elections (1952-1999)
Today in New Delhi, India
Jan 20, 2019-Sunday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Chronology of Lok Sabha elections (1952-1999)

India, which will hold its 14th general elections to choose a new Lok Sabha, has 543 constituencies compared with 489 in its first parliamentary polls as an independent nation in 1951-52.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2003 15:16 IST

India, which will hold its 14th general elections to choose a new Lok Sabha, has 543 constituencies compared with 489 in its first parliamentary polls as an independent nation in 1951-52.

Following is a chronology of the election results and governments since 1952.


Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's Indian National Congress party won 364 out of 489 seats.The nearest rival, the Samyukta (United) Socialist Party, won only 12 seats. The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS) won only three seats.


Congress won 371 out of 494 seats. The Communist Party of India (CPI) emerged as the country's biggest opposition group with 27 seats.


Nehru becomes prime minister for the third successive term. Congress won 361 seats. The CPI got 29 seats, the liberal Swatantra (freedom) Party 18 seats and the BJS 14.


Congress, under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, retained power but suffered setbacks in the first general elections held after Nehru's death in 1964. It won 283 out of 520 seats.The Swatantra Party (44 seats), the BJS (35) and two socialist groups with 46 seats emerged as the strongest opposition groups in this election.


Indira Gandhi's Congress party emerged stronger from a split on the platform, "Garibi Hatao" (Remove Poverty), winning 342 seats out of 518.


India holds general election after a 19-month-long Emergency rule that led to suspension of civil rights. The Congress party was routed for the first time in independent India's history by a motley opposition group of former Congressmen, socialists, Hindu nationalists and pro-farmer parties under one umbrella, called the Janata Party. Morarji Desai, a conservative former Congressman, becomes India's first non-Congress premier. The Janata Party won 295 out of 542 seats. The Congress won only 154.


Congress returns to power through mid-term polls after the Janata Party breaks up in disarray. It won 353 out of 529 seats contested.


Rajiv Gandhi, named prime minister after his mother Indira's assassination by her bodyguards on October 31, rides to overwhelming power on the strength of a sympathy wave. Congress won 415 out of 542 seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), successor to the former Bharatiya Jana Sangh, won only two seats.


Elections result in a hung parliament. The Congress won 197 seats to return as the largest parliamentary group, but the government is formed by the National Front, a coalition of socialist Janata Dal (142 seats) and regional groups. Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh's minority coalition collapses 11 months later when Hindu nationalist BJP (86 seats) ends support. Congress props up a breakaway socialist government headed by Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar for four months.


Congress returns to power in mid-term elections under Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao after Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated at an election rally in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. Congress won 232 seats out of 543. The BJP emerges stronger with 120 seats, riding on a campaign to build the Ram temple at a disputed site where the Babri mosque stands in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.


Congress slumps to its worst-ever defeat, winning only 140 seats in a badly fragmented parliament. The BJP (161 seats) forms a 12-day minority government under Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee but loses power as others unite. For 18 months, Congress serves as a key supporter to two shaky governments of centre-left United Front headed by H.D. Deve Gowda and Inder Kumar Gujral.


Mid-term elections see another fragmented parliament, but BJP emerges stronger with 182 seats. Vajpayee forms a minority coalition with regional groups but loses majority after 13 months when key regional ally the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) led by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha decides to withdraw support. Another mid-term election is called after Congress fails to form an alternative government.


First Published: Oct 13, 2003 15:16 IST