ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Seventh Lok Sabha Elections

Seventh Lok Sabha Elections Ajit Roy NO political analyst had an inkling about the eventual outcome of the seventh Lok Sabha elections; almost without exception they had conceded to the Congress(I) the status of the largest party in the new House, but without a plurality. There was a near unanimity in the country on this, prognosis for the obvious reason that there was neither an Indira wave nor a solid organisation behind Indira Gandhi, While everyone recognised a swing in favour of the Congress(I), none was able to correctly estimate its dimensions. The fact that Indira Gandhi had chosen to contest a second, safer, seat in Andhra Pradesh was tell-tale evidence of her own nervousness about the mood of the people in north India. The eventual outcome of the .seventh Lok Sabha elections has been contrary to all prognostications based on the above premises. The Congress(I) has secured a two-thirds majority in the Lok Sabha. But, here again, the appearance is somewhat deceptive. The Congress(I) has secured 67 per cent of the seats in the Lok Sabha by polling less than 43 per cent of the total valid votes cast. In absolute figures, out of a total electorate of 351 million, about 201 million took part in the polling. Out of this, only about 86 million voted the Congress(I). Thus, less than one in every four of the eligible voters in India positively voted for the return of the Congress(I) to power. It is further estimated that over 100 seats were won by the Congress(I) because of the split in the combined votes for the Janata party in the 1977 elections between the rump Janata and the revived Lok Dal, in addition to the fact that in the recent round, the proportion of the electorate actually exercising their franchise declined by 5 percentage points compared with 1977

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