Election of 16th Indian Parliament The biggest election in the world • Registered voters: 815 million • New voters since the last election: 100 million • Polling stations: 830,000 • Electronic voting machines: 1.2 million • Poll personnel (including security): 11 million • Political parties: 6 national parties, 54 regional parties 1000+ unrecognised parties • Voters in the 18 to 19 year age group: 23 million • Transgender voters registered as “others”: 28,314 • Number of electronic voting machines to be used: 1.8 million • Cap on election expenditure per candidate: 7 million rupees (A$127,000)
Background • A federal republic • 28 states, 7 union territories • Capital: New Delhi • Governed by a constitution (1950) • Sovereign, secular, democratic • Parliamentary system
India’s Parliamentary System Cabinet Ministers (From LokSabha or RajyaSabha) • s President (Head of state) Appoints Elects Elects Prime Minister (Head of government) Appoints 12 members RajyaSabha (Upper house) Selects Appoints 2 members LokSabha (Lower house) Elect 238 members State Assemblies Elect 543 members VOTERS
How the national election works • 543 constituencies in 35 states or territories. • 9 voting phases: 7 April - 12 May • 7 April • 9 April • 10 April • 12 April • 17 April • 24 April • 30 April • 7 May • 12 May • Result declared: 16 May
Election result and forming government Government Coalition Opposition parties
1,000+ Parties and Symbols The Indian Electoral Commission still has “free” symbols available here.
Congress - UPA • Founded: 1885 • 2009 tally: 206 seats • Single largest party in parliament leads the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) • Dominant party in post independence era. • Controlled by the Nehru-Gandhi family. • Political position: Centre-left • Candidate for PM: Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi • Born: 1970 • Part of the Nehru-Gandhi family. Father was PM Rajiv Gandhi, mother Sonia Gandhi President of Congress • Studied abroad. • Worked as management consultant before starting a Mumbai based technology outsourcing firm. • Elected to parliament 2004. Vice President of Congress 2013
BJP - NDA • Founded: 1980 • 2009 Tally: 116 seats • Second largest party and leader of the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA). • Candidate for PM: Gujarat Chief Minister NarendraModi • Key support base in north and west India • Political position: Hindu Nationalist (centre-right)
NarendraModi • Born: 1950 • First job as tea seller at a railway station. • Chief Minister Gujarat 2001 - 2014 • Hindu nationalist • 2002 Gujarat violence • Gujarat economic success
Aam Aadmi (“Common man party”) • Founded: November 2012. • Came out of the India Against Corruption movement. • Led a minority government in Delhi in 2013. • Political position: melting pot of left, right and centre. • Leader: Arvind Kejriwal
ArvindKejriwal • Born 1968 • Worked as a civil servant. • Anti-corruption activist • Chief Minister of Delhi for 49 days 2013 – 2014 • Running in Veranasi, the same constituency as Narendra Modi
Electoral trends in India • India has been governed by coalitions since 1989 (the “post-Congress era”). At least two factors explain this development: • The increasing authority of states in the Indian federation. • The emergence of regional parties and the demise of national parties. • This has robbed Congress and BJP of much of their support. It means brokering alliances is as important as securing voter support.
The top issues for voters Source: Survey for the Lok Foundation as reported in the Times of India, March 16, 2014
Other Issues • Leadership: Narendra Modi versus Rahul Gandhi • Modi as “super-CEO” or “divisive anti-Muslim figure” • Anti-incumbency mood against Congress • Am Aadmi (AAP) and anti-corruption sentiment
Authors Professor Amitabh Mattoo - Professor Mattoo is the Director of the Australia India Institute and a Professor of International Relations at the University of Melbourne. He concurrently serves as Professor of Disarmament Studies at the Centre for International Politics, Organisation and Disarmament at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University. Professor Mattoo has been a Member of the National Knowledge Commission, a high-level advisory group to the Prime Minister of India and the National Security Council’s Advisory Board. He was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jammu from 2002-2008. Nicholas Reece - Nicholas is a Public Policy Fellow at the Centre for Public Policy at the University of Melbourne. In this role he researches and lectures in public policy and political science. Nick has worked as a senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to a former Australian Prime Minister and two Premiers in the State of Victoria. Earlier in his career he worked as a lawyer and journalist. Nirupama Subramanian – Nirupama is Associate Editor at The Hindu. In this role she is a writer on the editorial board and co-ordinates news from the newspaper’s correspondents across the country. She has also served as a foreign correspondent in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Before joining The Hindu, Ms Subramanian had worked at the Times of India, Indian Express, Sunday Observer and India Today.