TNPSC Thervupettagam

The Election commission of India and Elections History - Part 7

May 16 , 2024 34 days 392 0

(இதன் தமிழ் வடிவத்திற்கு இங்கே சொடுக்கவும்)

Additional information:

1st Lok Sabha (1952 / 1957)

  • Total seats: 489
  • Winning party: Indian National Congress
  • Prime Minister: Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Term in office: April 15, 1952 - April 4, 1957
  • Leader of the Opposition: No official Leader of the Opposition
  • Speaker of the House: Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar
  • Term in Lok Sabha: May 15, 1952 - February 27, 1956


  • One-sixth of the world's population participated in the first general elections held between 1951 and 1952.
  • According to Election Commission data, there were 17.3 crore voters in the provincial elections held pre-independence.
  • Of them, 80% were illiterate, and no more than 14% had never voted before.
  • The Congress Party won a decisive victory in the first General Elections.
  • It won more seats than all Opposition parties combined (364) and commanded 45% of all votes.
  • The Communist Party of India (CPI) emerged as the runner up - winning 16 out of the 49 seats.


  • Several leaders of the freedom struggle found a place in the Ministry.
  • Abdul Kalam Azad became India's first minister of education, national resources, and scientific research under the Congress leadership.
  • Gulzarilal Nanda held the position of India's first minister of planning and river valley schemes.
  • In addition to the three original categories of officials — Cabinet Ministers, Minister of State, and Deputy Ministers — the Indian parliament introduced a fourth distinction known as Ministers of Cabinet rank.
  • This addition broadened the composition of the parliamentary officials.


  • Ganesh Vasudev Mavalankar, famously called 'Dadasaheb', served as the first Speaker of the Lok Sabha.
  • In Mr. Nehru’s eyes, Dadasaheb was the ’Father of the Lok Sabha’.

2nd Lok Sabha (1957 / 1962)

  • Total seats: 505
  • Winning party: Indian National Congress
  • Prime Minister: Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Term in office: April 5, 1957 - April 2, 1962
  • Leader of the Opposition: No official Leader of the Opposition
  • Speaker of the House: M.A. Ayyangar
  • Term in Lok Sabha: February 27, 1956 - April 16, 1962


  • The Second Lok Sabha convened on April 5, with Jawaharlal Nehru re-elected as the leader.
  • It ran for a full session until 1962.
  • The session was the first conducted after the enactment of the States Reorganisation Act, 1956.
  • This act reorganized the country into 13 States and four Union Territories, drawing new boundaries along regional and linguistic identities.
  • Nehru's governance model helped the Congress dominate the political landscape.

Election Outcome:

  • The Indian National Congress, led by Nehru, easily claimed a second term in power, securing 371 of the 494 Lok Sabha seats.

Government Focus:

  • The government focused on integrating princely states, as this was the first sitting after the first Delimitation Commission Act, 1952.
  • The Lok Sabha discussed national planning, workers’ education, initiated industrial projects, and designed a resilient economic system.
  • Parliament passed the landmark Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, consolidating anti-dowry laws passed in different States.
  • India’s foray into scientific research and space ambitions accelerated during this period.
  • Nehru’s government, with support from Vikram Sarabhai and scientist Homi Bhabha, identified an area called ‘space research and the peaceful uses of outer space’ in 1961.

Congress Dominance:

  • The ruling Congress consolidated its position in post-independent India, benefiting from the absence of a strong Opposition and Nehru’s popularity and socialist vision.

3rd Lok Sabha (1962 / 1967)

  • Winning party: Indian National Congress
  • Prime Minister(s):
  • Jawaharlal Nehru (August 15, 1947 - May 27, 1964)
  • Gulzarilal Nanda (May 27 - June 9, 1964; January 11 - January 24, 1966)
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri (June 9, 1964 - January 11, 1966)
  • Indira Gandhi (January 24, 1966 - March 3, 1967)
  • Leader of the Opposition: No official Leader of the Opposition.
  • Speaker of the House: Sardar Hukam Singh
  • Term in Lok Sabha: April 17, 1962 - March 16, 1967


  • The third Lok Sabha ran from April 2, 1962, to March 3, 1967.
  • Nehru was elected Prime Minister for the third time, serving the longest continuous term in Indian history of 16 years.
  • Changes in leadership and the emergence of regional parties, including the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in Tamil Nadu, shaped the political landscape.
  • Amid a focus on economic development and conflicts with China and Pakistan, these factors influenced the trajectory of governance.
  • It marked the beginning of the Congress party’s enduring internal conflict and factionalism.
  • Nehru’s non-aligned stance during the Cold War informed India’s foreign policy.

Election and Governance:

  • This was the first Lok Sabha with Parliamentary Constituencies reserved for Scheduled Caste categories.
  • The electoral procedure made history with polling conducted in under a week, from February 19 to February 25.
  • Additionally, it marked the first instance of using indelible ink in the voting process.

Top victors:

  • INC (44.72% votes), Communist Party of India (9.94%), and Swatantra Party (7.89%).
  • Following Nehru's passing in 1964, five ceremonies of swearing in four prime ministers were witnessed.
  • Gulzarilal Nanda served as Interim Prime Minister.
  • He was succeeded by Lal Bahadur Shastri, who later died abruptly under mysterious circumstances in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
  • Indira Gandhi took over as Prime Minister on January 24, 1966.
  • Sardar Hukam Singh served as the Speaker of the House.

Government Initiatives:

  • Under Nehru's leadership, economic development through the Second Five Year Plan promoted rapid industrialization.
  • The cabinet size was increased to 17, with the creation of a new Ministry of Steel and Heavy Industries.
  • Shastri promoted the White Revolution and campaigned to increase milk production under the “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan” slogan.

Challenges and Events:

  • The Indo-China war of 1962 unfolded during this session.
  • Nehru reportedly sought help from the U.S. and other Western countries for military assistance.
  • Nehru adopted the non-alignment movement during the Cold War.
  • Indira Gandhi's leadership saw crises including monsoon failure, controversial devaluation exercises, contentious reorganization of Punjab, and demands for banning cow slaughter.
  • The Lok Sabha was stormed by a mob on November 9, 1966, one of the first instances when India’s Parliament was breached.


  • India held its fourth General Elections in February 1967, where Congress formed the government for the third time amidst early signs of internal dissent.
  • Regional parties gained national popularity, and India continued its non-alignment stance in foreign policy.

4th Lok Sabha (1967 / 1970)

  • Winning party: Indian National Congress
  • Prime Minister(s): Indira Gandhi
  • Term in office: March 13, 1967 - March 18, 1971
  • Leader of the Opposition: Ram Subhag Singh in 1969, after the split in the Congress party
  • Speaker of the House: N. Sanjiva Reddy
  • Term in Lok Sabha: March 17, 1967 - July 19, 1969


  • The Indian National Congress secured 56% of the seats (283), followed by Swatantra Party (44) and Bharatiya Jana Sangh (35).
  • Congress's majority reduced compared to previous years, facing strong Opposition and coalition governments.

Election and Governance:

  • Congress retained power with a reduced majority, facing Opposition in several key states.
  • This election marked the first woman elected as Prime Minister.
  • Two contenders, Morarji Desai and Indira Gandhi, vied for the position.
  • Congress faced challenges of a resentful electorate, a strong Opposition, economic distress, food insecurity, and corruption charges.

Economic Challenges:

  • The Third Plan for economic growth was deemed an "unmitigated disaster", leading to food insecurity and famine-like conditions.
  • Indira Gandhi proposed bank nationalization on July 10, 1969, to address economic problems, leading to friction within the party.

Internal Conflict:

  • Indira Gandhi's proposal for bank nationalization led to increased friction within Congress, resulting in her expulsion in November 1969 by the party’s working committee.
  • The division solidified, as Indira Gandhi established the opposing faction named the Indian National Congress (Requisitionists) group.
  • Internal conflict threatened Congress’s stability, leading to Indira Gandhi's advice for Parliament dissolution.

Indira Gandhi's Leadership:

  • Indira Gandhi, India’s first and only female Prime Minister, enacted policies to curb economic distress.
  • Her tenure saw the emergence of coalition governments amidst internal party conflict and opposition challenges.

5th Lok Sabha (1971 / 1977)

  • Winning party: Indian National Congress (I)
  • Prime Minister(s): Indira Gandhi
  • Term in office: March 19, 1971 - March 24, 1977
  • Leader of the Opposition: No initial official Leader of the Opposition due to the overwhelming majority of the ruling party.
  • Raj Narain of the Bharatiya Lok Dal became the Leader of the Opposition by the mid-1970s.
  • Speaker(s) of the House: G. S. Dhillon (August 8, 1969 - December 1, 1975) and Bali Ram Bhagat (January 5, 1976 - March 25, 1977)


  • Indira Gandhi-led government pivoted to socialist policies and introduced the economic goal of eradicating poverty.
  • India’s support for Bangladesh liberation efforts bolstered Mrs. Gandhi’s popularity.
  • The Emergency was declared, one of the darkest periods in India’s post-independent history.


  • Polling was conducted in March 1971 across 18 States and nine Union Territories representing 518 constituencies.
  • 53 parties participated, with eight national parties fetching 77.84% votes.
  • Voter turnout was 55.27%, with a decline in the number of voters compared to 1967.

Election Outcome:

  • Congress "swept back into power" with 352 seats, gaining nearly absolute control of the government.
  • Communist Party of India (Marxist) trailed with 25 seats, followed by Communist Party of India and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) with 23 seats each.
  • Shiv Sena fielded candidates for the first time in Lok Sabha polls.

Government Policies:

  • Congress's inclination towards socialism resonated amid economic strain.
  • Economic reforms included moderate tax increases on higher-income people and promoting the Green Revolution.
  • Gandhi extended the term of the Lok Sabha through legislation.

Constitutional Amendments:

  • The Constitution was amended 19 times, addressing various matters such as the functioning of nationalized banks.
  • Additionally, amendments were made to incorporate findings from an inquiry into the Disappearance of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
  • The Constitution (Twenty-Sixth) Amendment Act, 1971, eliminated privy purses, advancing the goal of forging an egalitarian society.

Bangladesh Liberation War:

  • India demonstrated political leadership during the Bangladesh Liberation War.
  • Gandhi's international travels with Defence Minister Sardar Swaran Singh built support for an independent Bangladesh.

Emergency Period:

  • Allegations of political repression, restriction of the free press, and human rights violations arose.
  • The Allahabad High Court found Gandhi guilty of election malpractice, leading to the declaration of Emergency on June 25, 1975.
  • Concerns grew over Gandhi's authoritarian streak within the party, leading to the dissolution of the Lok Sabha in 1977.


  • Indira Gandhi’s ‘Garibi Hatao’ slogan and role in the Bangladesh war strengthened her appeal among the masses, but concern grew over her authoritarianism.
  • India saw one of its darkest periods with the declaration of Emergency and the suspension of civil liberties.


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