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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.

2019 Indian general election

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543 (of the 545) seats in the Lok Sabha
272 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
  PM Modi Portrait(cropped).jpg Rahul Gandhi (cropped).jpg
Leader Narendra Modi Rahul Gandhi
Party BJP INC
Alliance NDA UPA
Leader since 13 September 2013 11 December 2017
Leader's seat Varanasi Amethi (before election)
Wayanad (contesting)
Last election 282 seats, 31.34% 44 seats, 19.52%
Seats needed Steady Increase 228

Indian General Election 2019.svg
A map showing the constituencies of the Lok Sabha

Legislative Assembly elections in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim will be held simultaneously with the general election.[5][6]

Contents

Electoral system

 
Official logo

All 543 elected MPs will be elected from single-member constituencies using first-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]

Earlier there were speculations that the Modi Government might advance the 2019 general election to counter the anti-incumbency factor, however learning from the past blunder of preponing an election made by the Vajpayee Government it decided to go into election as per the normal schedule[9] which was announced by Election Commission of India (ECI) on 10 March 2019, after which Model Code of Conduct was applied with immediate effect.[10] The voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) system which enables electronic voting machines to record each vote cast by generating the EVM slip, will be introduced in all 543 Lok sabha constituencies.[11][12] A total of 17.4 lakh VVPAT units and 39.6 lakh EVMs will be used in as many as 10,35,918 polling stations during the elections.[13] On 9 April 2019, Supreme Court of India gave the judgement, ordering the Election Commission of India to increase VVPAT slips vote count to five randomly selected EVMs per assembly constituency, which means Election Commission of India has to count VVPAT slips of 20,625 EVMs.[14][15][16] Though the exercise of matching EVM results with paper trail machine slips was being held in various assembly elections, this is the first time it will be undertaken in Lok Sabha polls.

Election schedule

The election schedule was announced on 10 March 2019, and with it the Model Code of Conduct came into force.[17]

 
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 Anantanag 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.[18]

Phase Date Constituencies States and Union Territories
1 11 April 91 20 Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep
2 18 April 95 12 Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Puducherry
3 23 April 116 15 Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Tripura, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu
4 29 April 71 9 Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal
5 6 May 51 7 Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal
6 12 May 59 7 Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi
7 19 May 59 8 Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh


Key
  Polling held   Polling ongoing   Polling to be held

State/UT Total
constituencies
Election dates and number of constituencies
  • Phase 1
  • 11 April
  • Phase 2
  • 18 April
  • Phase 3
  • 23 April
  • Phase 4
  • 29 April
  • Phase 5
  • 6 May
  • Phase 6
  • 12 May
  • Phase 7
  • 19 May
Progress 91 95 116 71 51 59 59
Andhra Pradesh 25 25
Arunachal Pradesh 2 2
Assam 14 5 5 4
Bihar 40 4 5 5 5 5 8 8
Chhattisgarh 11 1 3 7
Goa 2 2
Gujarat 26 26
Haryana 10 10
Himachal Pradesh 4 4
Jammu and Kashmir[a] 6 2 2 1 1 2
Jharkhand 14 3 4 4 3
Karnataka 28 14 14
Kerala 20 20
Madhya Pradesh 29 6 7 8 8
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
Telangana 17 17
Tripura 2 1 1
Uttar Pradesh 80 8 8 10 13 14 14 13
Uttarakhand 5 5
West Bengal 42 2 3 5 8 7 8 9
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1 1
Chandigarh 1 1
Dadra and Nagar Haveli 1 1
Daman and Diu 1 1
Delhi 7 7
Lakshadweep 1 1
Puducherry 1 1
Constituencies contested 542 91 95 116 71 51 59 59
Total constituencies
completing polling
by end of this phase
91 186 302 373 424 483 542
a polling for Anantanag constituency scheduled over three days

Rescheduled voting, cancellations

  • Vellore, Tamil Nadu: Over 11 Crores 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.[19] 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.[20]
  • 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.[21]

Campaigning

Issues

Alleged institutional undermining

During the election campaign, the opposition parties have claimed that the NDA government is destroying democratic institutions and processes. Opposition party leaders such as Mamata Banerjee have campaigned on this issue.[22]

In response, Modi termed the allegations "a big joke", commenting 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.[23]

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.[24] 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.[25][26][27] The GDP growth data has been disputed[24] 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.[28]

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.[24][29] 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.[30] 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 1,300,000,000,000 (US$18 billion) in black money since 2014, and almost doubled India's tax base.[31][32] 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.[33]

Income tax raids

In April 2019, raids conducted by the Income Tax department found bundles of unaccounted for cash amounting to ₹281 crore, 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.[34][35]

National security and terrorism

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.[36]

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".[37][38]

Unemployment

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.[38]

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.[39][note 1] The government has claimed that the report was not final.[44] 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.[45] 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.[45]

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.[46] Prime minister Narendra Modi claimed that jobs are not lacking but the accurate data on jobs has been lacking.[47][48]

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]".[49]

Agrarian and rural distress

The Congress party campaign has highlighted "agrarian distress" as an election issue.[50] The BJP campaign has highlighted that the Congress party had been in power for five generations of the Nehru dynasty and its past promises and campaign issues have been empty. It claims that the recent farmer loan waivers by Congress have not reached "even 10% of the farmers" nor has it helped the financial situation of the farmers. BJP highlights that its "Kisan Samman Nidhi" helps the small farmers at the time of seed planting through a direct deposit of ₹6000 to their accounts.[51] The opposition has accused this as being an attempt to lure voters.[52]

According to The Times of India, a group of farmer associations have demanded that the 2019 election manifesto of competing political parties should promise to "keep agriculture out of the World Trade Organization (WTO)" and that the interests of Indian farmers must not be compromised in global trade treaties.[53] They have also demanded loan waivers and income support for the agriculture sector.[53] According to the Business Standard and the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization, India has witnessed record crop harvests in recent years including 2017 when its farmers grew more foodgrains than ever before.[54][55] However, the farmers consider the "low remunerative prices" they receive in the free market to be too low and a need for the Indian government to establish higher minimum support prices for agricultural products. These farmers consider this an issue for the 2019 general elections.[54]

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.[56][57] 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".[56][57] Some others have been linked to the opposition Indian National Congress,[57][56] as well as the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party.[57]

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.[58][59][60] 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.[58] 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".[58]

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.[58][59] 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.[58] 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.[59] 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.[58] The Congress Party and activists have filed a complaint to the Indian Election Commission, demanding that the NaMo TV channel be stopped.[58] 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.[60] 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.[61] The Election Commission ruled on April 19 2019, that live speeches of Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders can be broadcasted on NaMo TV as well as Twitter platform tweets can be broadcasted 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.[62]

The Election Commission of India has blocked the release of the Modi biopic while the election is in progress.[63] The Bollywood movie producers have appealed this "stay on the movie's release" to the Supreme Court of India.[64]

Dynasty politics

The BJP has highlighted that the Congress party has relied on Nehru's dynasty for leadership since India's independence, its lack of internal party institutions and claimed that whenever Congress has been in power, the freedom of press and Indian government institutions have "taken a severe beating".[65][66] During the election campaign, its leaders have mentioned the Emergency of 1975, the nepotism, corruption and widespread abuses of human rights under the Congress rule in the past.[65][67][68] Congress-led alliance leader H. D. Kumaraswamy – the son of a former prime minister of India and the current chief minister of Karnataka, has countered that "India developed because of dynasty politics", stating that "dynasty politics are not the main issue, rather country's problems are".[69] The Congress has alleged hypocrisy by the BJP, claiming that the BJP itself forms alliances with dynasty-based parties such as the Akali Dal in Punjab, and that family relatives of senior BJP leaders such as Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley have been in politics too.[70]

Party campaigns

Bharatiya Janata Party

On 12 January 2019, prime minister Narendra Modi launched the Bharatiya Janata Party's election campaign, which sought a second term.[71]

Indian National Congress

The Indian National Congress Party president Rahul Gandhi launched his election campaign from Gujarat's Lal Dungri site where other members of the Nehru dynasty began their general elections campaign, including his grandmother Indira Gandhi and father Rajiv Gandhi.[72]

Party Manifestos

The Congress released its manifesto, titled Congress Will Deliver on 3 April.[73][74] The BJP released its manifesto called Sankalp Patra (lit. "Letter of Promise") sub-titled Sankalpit Bharat, Sashakt Bharat on 8 April.[75][76]Smaller regional parties have released their manifestos too.

Highlights of the Congress manifesto

  • Introduce a Nyuntam Aay Yojana welfare program wherein 72,000 (US$1,000) per year will be transferred directly to the bank account of a woman-member in each family in the poorest 20 percent households in India.[73][77][78]
  • Create 1 million "Seva Mitra" jobs in rural and urban local government bodies. Fill all 400,000 central government vacancies before March 2020, and encourage state governments to fill their 2,000,000 job vacancies. Enact a law that requires all non-government controlled employers with over 100 employees to implement an apprentice program.
  • Enact a permanent National Commission on Agricultural Development and Planning and introduce a "Kisan Budget" (Farmer Budget) in the parliament every year. Waive all farmer loans in all states with any amounts outstanding.
  • Enact a Right to Homestead Act that will provide free land to every household that does not own a home.
  • Enact a Right to Healthcare Act and guarantee every Indian citizen free diagnostics, free medicines, free hospitalization and free out-patient care. Double India's spending on healthcare to 3 percent of its Gross Domestic Product by 2024.
  • Double India's spending on education to 6 percent of its Gross Domestic Product by 2024.
  • Revise the national GST law from three tax tiers to GST 2.0 law with a single moderate rate of tax. Reduce taxes on exported products to zero. Exempt from the GST essential goods and services that are currently not exempt. Enact a new Direct Taxes Code in addition to this revised GST 2.0 law.
  • Augment the total length of national highways, increase the pace of construction. Massively modernise Indian railway infrastructure. Promote green energy. Make India one of the top manufacturing hubs in the world.
  • Increase defense spending to strengthen Indian Armed Forces.
  • Enact a National Election Fund, wherein public funds will be distributed to recognised political parties to run their campaign
  • Preserve special status and special rights to natives of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution.[78]

Highlights of the BJP manifesto

  • Double farmer incomes by 2022 by completing all major and micro-irrigation infrastructure projects, opening adequate markets and modern farm produce storage centers, implement minimum price supports for farmer produce, farmer loans and all-weather rural roads. Introduce a pension bill for small and marginal farmers.[79][76][78]
  • Bring all secondary schools under the national board quality preview. Invest 1,000,000,000,000 (US$14 billion) in higher education, open new and increase seats at existing engineering, management and law schools. Establish skills and innovations center at block-level in every town. Enhance higher education opportunities for women by introducing financial support and subsidies programs. Source 10% of government procurement from companies with more than 50% female employees.
  • Ensure a pucca (lit. brick-solid, modern) house, safe potable water, toilet, LPG gas cylinder, electricity and banking account for every family. Reduce the percentage of families living under the poverty line to a single digit by 2024.
  • Double the length of national highways. Improve fuel quality by mandating 10% ethanol in petrol. Scale renewable energy capacity to 175 GW.
  • Electrify and convert to broad gauge all Indian railway tracks.
  • Establish 150,000 health and wellness centers across India. Start 75 new medical colleges. Raise doctor-to-population ratio to 1:1400. Triple childcare facilities in India. Achieve 100% immunization of all babies in India.
  • Raise India's ranking further in "ease of doing business". Double India's exports, introduce single-window compliance procedures for all businesses.
  • Reduce air pollution by eliminating all crop residue burning in India.
  • Zero tolerance for terrorism, fund resources to strengthen national security, guarantee veterans and soldier welfare, modernize police forces.
  • End special status and special rights to natives of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution because these provisions have prevented the development of the state.[78]

Other parties

  • The Tamil Nadu-based regional parties, and arch rivals AIADMK and DMK released their 2019 election manifesto on March 18 2019, with each promising to release the seven Tamils jailed after being found guilty for their role in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, a former Congress party leader and prime minister of India. The AIADMK has promised to press for the political rights of the Tamil people in the Eelam region of Sri Lanka, while the DMK has promised Indian citizenship to all Sri Lankan expats. According to the Deccan Herald, the AIADMK has promised a cash transfer of 18,000 (US$250) per year to "all families below the poverty level, destitute women, widows without income, differently-abled, landless agricultural labourers, rural and urban manual labourers and destitute senior citizens". The AIADMK has also promised to raise the tax exemption limit, and revisions to the GST tax law. The DMK has promised a probe into Rafale fighter jet deal between India and France, and a plan to distribute free sanitary napkins to working women along with starting martial arts schools for girls.[80]
  • The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) released its manifesto on April 9 2019. It promises a 100,000 (US$1,400) zero-interest crop loan to farmers every year, a 500,000 (US$7,000) zero-interest loan to women-run self-help groups, 75 percent jobs reservation in Odisha-based companies to Odisha youth, free education to all girls and a marriage assistance grant of 25,000 (US$350) to daughters of poor families. It also promised to complete an expressway connecting the state's north to its south, as well as another expressway to connect its east to its west.[81]
  • The Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPM) 2019 election manifesto promises subsidies, less role for a free market and greater state control of the economy. It also promises raising the minimum wage to 216,000 (US$3,000) per year, restoring inheritance tax, and raising the taxes on individuals and corporations. In other aspects, according to CNBC India, the CPM manifesto "bring back the memories of the socialist era which bred monopoly and wasteful state subsidies" in India.[82]
  • The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in its manifesto promised to open talks with Pakistan on terrorism. The party also promised to significantly expand India's trade and political relationship with Russia, and seek to weaken Russia's ties with China and Pakistan.[83]
  • The Samajwadi Party has promised an annual pension of 36,000 (US$500) to poor families in a form of a cash transfer to women. It has also proposed a new property tax of 2 percent on homes valued above 25,000,000 (US$350,000) as well as raising income taxes on the affluent. The party's manifesto promises creating 100,000 new jobs every year in India.[84]
  • The Telugu Desam Party released its manifesto on April 5 2019. It promised zero-interest loans to farmer without any caps, a grant of 15,000 (US$210) per year to each farmer as investment support, a grant of 100,000 (US$1,400) to each family with a daughter in the year of her marriage, an unemployment allowance of 3,000 (US$42) for any youth who has completed intermediate education, and free laptops to all students at the intermediate level.[85]
  • The Trinamool Congress' manifesto was released on March 27 2019. It promises a judicial probe into demonetization, a review of GST law by experts, and that it will seek to bring back the Planning Commission. The Trinamool manifesto also promises free medical care along the lines that the Trinamool state government has been implementing in West Bengal. Trinamool will seek to expand the "100-day work scheme" currently operating in India to "200-day work scheme" along with an appropriate pay increase.[86]

Parties and alliances

More than 50 parties are contesting these elections. Most of them are small with regional appeal. The main parties are the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC). With the exception of 2014, no single party has won the majority of seats in the Lok sabha since 1984, and therefore forming alliances is the norm in Indian elections. In the 2019 general election, there are four main national pre-poll alliances. They are the NDA headed by the BJP, the UPA headed by the INC, the grand alliance of regional parties, and the left front of Communist-leaning parties. Given the volatile nature of coalition politics in India, alliances may change during and after the election.

The INC has not formed alliance in states where it is in direct contest with the BJP. These states include Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. It has formed alliances with regional parties in Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Jharkhand, and Kerala. The party has not been able to form alliance with other parties in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Northeast, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Goa. [87]

Early in the campaign in January 2019, Mayawati (president of the Bahujan Samaj Party) and Akhilesh Yadav (president of the Samajwadi Party) announced an alliance to contest 76 seats out of the 80 in Uttar Pradesh and the alliance will not fight in four seats, namely Amethi and Rae Bareli which they left for Congress and another two for other political parties. The alliance did not include Congress, with Mayawati stating, "Including Congress in the alliance will hurt SP-BSP prospects as Congress's votes do not get transferred" and "the policies of both these parties [BJP and Congress] have been mostly the same". The alliance was the second of its kind with a similar coalition formed 25 years ago in 1993.[88]


Party States/UTs contested Seats Alliance
Contested Won
Bharatiya Janata Party Andhra Pradesh 25 437 National Democratic Alliance
Arunachal Pradesh 2
Assam 10
Bihar 17
Chhattisgarh 11
Goa 2
Gujarat 26
Haryana 10
Himachal Pradesh 4
Jammu and Kashmir[89] 6
Jharkhand 11
Karnataka 27
Kerala 15
Madhya Pradesh 29
Maharashtra 25
Manipur 2
Meghalaya 2
Mizoram[90] 1
Odisha 21
Punjab 3
Rajasthan 24
Sikkim 1
Tamil Nadu 5
Telangana 17
Tripura 2
Uttar Pradesh 78
Uttarakhand 5
West Bengal 42
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1
Chandigarh 1
Dadra and Nagar Haveli 1
Daman and Diu 1
Delhi 7
Lakshadweep 1
Shiv Sena[91] Maharashtra 23
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam[92] Tamil Nadu 20
Janata Dal (United)[93] Bihar 17
Shiromani Akali Dal[94] Punjab 10
Pattali Makkal Katchi[92] Tamil Nadu 7
Lok Janshakti Party[93] Bihar 6
Bharath Dharma Jana Sena Kerala 4
Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam[95] Tamil Nadu 4
Asom Gana Parishad Assam 3
Apna Dal (Sonelal) Uttar Pradesh 2
All Jharkhand Students Union[96] Jharkhand 1
Puthiya Tamilagam[97] Tamil Nadu 1
Tamil Maanila Congress Tamil Nadu 1
Puthiya Needhi Katchi[98] Tamil Nadu 1
All India N.R. Congress[99] Puducherry 1
Bodoland People's Front[100] Assam 1
Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party Nagaland 1
Kerala Congress (Thomas)[101] Kerala 1
Rashtriya Loktantrik Party Rajasthan 1
Sumalatha (Independent Candidate supported by BJP in Mandya) Karnataka 1
Indian National Congress Andhra Pradesh 25 422 United Progressive Alliance
Arunachal Pradesh 2
Assam 14
Bihar 9
Chhattisgarh 11
Goa 2
Gujarat 26
Haryana 10
Himachal Pradesh 4
Jammu and Kashmir 5
Jharkhand 7
Karnataka 21
Kerala 16
Madhya Pradesh 29
Maharashtra[102] 24
Manipur 2
Meghalaya 2
Nagaland 1
Odisha 18
Punjab 13
Rajasthan 25
Sikkim 1
Tamil Nadu 9
Telangana 17
Tripura 2
Uttar Pradesh[103] 67
Uttarakhand 5
West Bengal 42
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1
Chandigarh 1
Dadra and Nagar Haveli 1
Daman and Diu 1
Delhi 7
Lakshadweep 1
Puducherry 1
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam[104] Tamil Nadu 20
Nationalist Congress Party[102] Maharashtra 20
Rashtriya Janata Dal Bihar 19 20
Jharkhand 1
Janata Dal (Secular)[105] Karnataka 7
Jan Adhikar Party[103] Uttar Pradesh 5
Rashtriya Lok Samta Party Bihar 5
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha[106] Jharkhand 4 5
Odisha 1
Communist Party of India (State level)[104][107] Odisha 1 3
Tamil Nadu 2
Communist Party of India (Marxist) (State level)[104] Odisha 1 3
Tamil Nadu 2
Hindustani Awam Morcha Bihar 3
Indian Union Muslim League[104] Kerala 2 3
Tamil Nadu 1
Vikassheel Insaan Party Bihar 3
Apna Dal (Krishna Patel)[103] Uttar Pradesh 2
Jharkhand Vikas Morcha[106] Jharkhand 2
Swabhimani Paksha[102] Maharashtra 2
Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi[104] Tamil Nadu 2
Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi[102] Maharashtra 1
Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation (State level) Bihar 1
Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi[104] Tamil Nadu 1
Kerala Congress (M) Kerala 1
Kongunadu Makkal Desia Katchi[104] Tamil Nadu 1
Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam[104] Tamil Nadu 1
Revolutionary Socialist Party (State level)[108] Kerala 1
Yuva Swabhiman Party[102] Maharashtra 1
Lalnghinglova Hmar (Independent candidate supported by INC in Mizoram) Mizoram 1
Jammu & Kashmir National Conference (supported by INC in Srinagar) Jammu and Kashmir 1
Bahujan Samaj Party [88] Andhra Pradesh 3 TBA Grand Alliance
Bihar 40
Chhattisgarh 11
Gujarat 26
Haryana 8
Jammu and Kashmir 2
Jharkhand TBA
Karnataka 28
Madhya Pradesh 26
Maharashtra 44
Odisha TBA
Punjab 3
Rajasthan 25
Telangana 5
Uttar Pradesh 38
Uttarakhand 4
Samajwadi Party[88] Madhya Pradesh 2 43
Maharashtra 4
Uttar Pradesh 37
Rashtriya Lok Dal Uttar Pradesh 3
Gondwana Ganatantra Party[109] Madhya Pradesh 1
Loktantra Suraksha Party[110] Haryana 2
Punjabi Ekta Party[111] Punjab 3
Lok Insaaf Party[111] Punjab 3
Punjab Front[111] Punjab 1
Communist Party of India (State level)[111] Andhra Pradesh 2 TBA
Punjab 2
Telangana TBA
Communist Party of India (Marxist) (State level) Andhra Pradesh 2
Revolutionary Marxist Party of India (State level)[111] Punjab 1
Jana Sena Party[112] Andhra Pradesh 18 23
Telangana 05
Communist Party of India (Marxist)[113] Assam 2 65 Left Front
Bihar 1
Haryana 1
Himachal Pradesh 1
Jharkhand 1
Karnataka 1
Kerala 16
Lakshadweep 1
Madhya Pradesh 1
Maharashtra 1
Odisha 1
Telangana 2
Tripura 2
Uttarakhand 1
West Bengal 33
Communist Party of India Bihar 1 9
Jharkhand 1
Kerala 4
West Bengal 3
Revolutionary Socialist Party West Bengal 3
All India Forward Bloc Andhra Pradesh 1 5
Arunachal Pradesh 1
West Bengal 3
Telugu Desam Party Andhra Pradesh 25 Other parties
YSR Congress Party Andhra Pradesh 25
Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh Maharashtra TBA
Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam Puducherry 1 39
Tamil Nadu 38
Makkal Needhi Maiam Puducherry 1 38
Tamil Nadu 37
Biju Janata Dal Odisha 21
Telangana Rashtra Samithi Telangana 16
Social Democratic Party of India Tamil Nadu 1
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen Maharashtra TBA TBA
Telangana 1
Naam Tamilar Katchi Puducherry 1 39
Tamil Nadu 38
Aam Aadmi Party[114] Bihar 3 33
Chandigarh 1
Delhi 7
Goa 2
Haryana 3
Punjab 13
Uttar Pradesh 4
Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohiya) Bihar 3 96
Chhattisgarh 1
Delhi 2
Haryana 1
Jammu and Kashmir 1
Karnataka 2
Madhya Pradesh 2
Odisha 2
Tamil Nadu 2
Uttar Pradesh 79
Uttarakhand 1
Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party Jammu and Kashmir 4
Jammu & Kashmir National Conference Jammu and Kashmir 4
National People's Party Arunachal Pradesh TBA TBA
Assam 5
Manipur 1
Meghalaya 1
Mizoram 1
Uttarakhand Kranti Dal Uttarakhand 4
Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation Andhra Pradesh 2 9
Bihar 4
Jharkhand 2
Uttarakhand 1
Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Red Star Andhra Pradesh 1 3
Chhattisgarh 1
Jharkhand 1
Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) Bihar 2 5
Chhattisgarh 2
Uttarakhand 1
All India Trinamool Congress Assam 8 72
Bihar 2
Jharkhand 3
Odisha 10
Tamil Nadu 7
West Bengal 42
Indian Gandhiyan Party Bihar 2 66
Jharkhand 3
Odisha 10
Tamil Nadu 7
Uttar Pradesh 2
West Bengal 42
Independent politicians Andhra Pradesh TBA TBA None
Arunachal Pradesh TBA
Assam TBA
Bihar TBA
Chhattisgarh TBA
Goa TBA
Gujarat TBA
Haryana TBA
Himachal Pradesh TBA
Jammu and Kashmir TBA
Jharkhand TBA
Karnataka TBA
Kerala TBA
Madhya Pradesh TBA
Maharashtra TBA
Manipur TBA
Meghalaya TBA
Mizoram TBA
Nagaland TBA
Odisha TBA
Punjab TBA
Rajasthan TBA
Sikkim TBA
Tamil Nadu 559
Telangana TBA
Tripura TBA
Uttar Pradesh TBA
Uttarakhand TBA
West Bengal TBA
Andaman and Nicobar Islands TBA
Chandigarh TBA
Dadra and Nagar Haveli TBA
Daman and Diu TBA
Delhi TBA
Lakshadweep TBA
Puducherry TBA

Voting

According to the Election Commission of India, 900 million people were eligible to vote, with an increase of 84.3 million voters since the last general election in 2014,[115][116] making this the largest-ever election in the world.[117] 15 million voters in the age group of 18–19 years are eligible to exercise their right to vote for the first time while 38,325 transgenders will be able to vote for the first time as members of the third-sex and not as male or female.[118][119] 71,735 overseas voters have been enrolled in the electoral rolls for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In 2015, an India-Bangladesh boundary agreement was signed, in which the two countries exchanged their enclaves. As a result, it will be the first time in which residents of these former enclaves vote in an Indian general election.[120]

Final voters list for Indian General Election 2019
S.No Group of voters Voters population
1 Male 468 million
2 Female 432 million
3 Third gender 38,325
- Total voters 900 million

Turnout

April 11

In the first phase of the general election, about 69.45 percent of the 142 million eligible voters cast their vote to elect their representatives for 91 Lok Sabha seats.[121][122] This was higher than the 2014 nationwide election average turnout of 66.44 percent.[122][123]

State/UT Seats Turnout (%)
Lakshadweep 1 84.96[122]
West Bengal 2 83.79[122]
Tripura 1 83.26[122]
Nagaland 1 83.12[122]
Manipur 1 82.82[122]
Assam 5 78.22[122]
Sikkim 1 78.19[122]
Andhra Pradesh 25 78.14[122]
Odisha 4 73.76[122]
Meghalaya 2 71.41[122]
Arunachal Pradesh 2 67.08[122]
Chhattisgarh 1 65.80[122]
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1 64.85[122]
Uttar Pradesh 8 63.88[122]
Maharashtra 7 63.04[122]
Mizoram 1 63.02[122]
Telangana 17 62.69[122]
Uttarakhand 5 59.89[122]
Jammu and Kashmir 2 57.35[122]
Bihar 4 53.47[122]

April 18

In the second of the seven voting phases, 157.9 million voters were eligible to vote to elect their representatives for 95 Lok Sabha seats.[124] The average turnout for the second phase was about 69.43 percent in 2019,[121] compared to 69.6 percent for the same seats in 2014.[125]

State/UT Seats Turnout (%)
Puducherry 1 78 [126]
Manipur 1 77.93 [125]
West Bengal 3 76.42 [125]
Assam 5 76.22 [125]
Chhattisgarh 3 72.45 [125]
Tamil Nadu 38 71.87 [127]
Karnataka 14 67.67 [128]
Bihar 5 62.38 [126]
Uttar Pradesh 8 62.30 [125]
Maharashtra 10 61.57 [125]
Odisha 5 58.38 [125]
Jammu and Kashmir 2 45.64 [125]

Opinion polling and seat projections

Opinion polling

 
Line graph showing number of seats projected in opinion polls per alliance over time.

Various organisations have carried out opinion polling to gauge voting intentions in India. Results of such polls are displayed in this list. The date range for these opinion polls is from the previous general election, held in April and May 2014, to the present day.

Date published Polling agency Others Lead[note 2] Majority
NDA UPA
8 April 2019 Times Now-VMR 279 149 115 130 7
6 April 2019 IndiaTV-CNX 275 126 142 149 3
1 Feb – 4 April 2019 Jan Ki Baat 310 122 111 188 38
Mar 2019 Times Now-VMR 283 135 125 148 11
Mar 2019 News Nation 270 134 139 131 Hung
Mar 2019 RepublicTV–C voter 264 141 138 123 Hung
Mar 2019 IndiaTV-CNX 285 126 132 159 13
Mar 2019 Zee 24 Taas 264 165 114 99 Hung
Feb 2019 VDP Associates 242 148 153 94 Hung
Jan 2019 Times Now-VMR 252 147 144 105 Hung
Jan 2019 ABP News -Cvoter 233 167 143 66 Hung
Jan 2019 India Today -Karvy 237 166 140 67 Hung
Jan 2019 VDP Associates 225 167 150 58 Hung
Dec 2018 India Today 257 146 140 111 Hung
Dec 2018 ABP News – C Voter 247 171 125 76 Hung
Dec 2018 India TV – CNX 281 124 138 157 9
Nov 2018 ABP News – C Voter 261 119 163 142 Hung
Oct 2018 ABP News 276 112 155 164 4
Aug 2018 India Today- Karvy 281 122 140 159 9
May 2018 ABP News-CSDS 274 164 105 110 2
Jan 2018 Republic-CVoter 335 89 119 246 63
Jan 2018 India Today 309 102 132 207 37
April–May 2014 General election results 336 60 113 276 64

Exit polls

The ECI banned exit polls from 11 April to 19 May, the last phase of the elections.[129] The commission also banned predictions made by astrologers and tarot card readers.[130]

Results

The vote counting and the official results announcement will start on May 23, 2019.[17]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b The unemployment data in India is not collected on a monthly or an annual basis, rather it is determined through a sample survey once every 5 years, with a few exceptions. The survey methodology is unlike those in major world economies, and sub-classifies unemployment into categories such as "usual status unemployment" and "current status unemployment" based on the answers given by the individuals interviewed. Its methodology and results have been questioned by various scholars.[40][41][42] The report and the refusal of the BJP government to release it has been criticized by the economist Surjit Bhalla.[41] According to Bhalla, the survey methodology is flawed and its results absurd, because the sample survey-based report finds that India's overall population has declined since 2011–12 by 1.2% (contrary to the Census data which states a 6.7% increase). The report finds that India's percent urbanization and urban workforce has declined since 2012, which is contrary to all other studies on Indian urbanization trends, states Bhalla.[41] According to NSSO's report's data, "the Modi government has unleashed the most inclusive growth anywhere, and at any time in human history" – which is as unbelievable as the unemployment data it reports, states Bhalla.[41] The NSSO report suggests the inflation-adjusted employment income of casual workers has dramatically increased while those of the salaried wage-earners has fallen during the 5-years of BJP government.[41] The NSSO has also changed the sampling methodology in the latest round, state Bhalla and Avik Sarkar,[43] which is one of the likely sources of its flawed statistics and conclusions.[41]
  2. ^ Only formally announced alliances used to calculate lead. Others / non allied parties not used in calculation.

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