The 2019 Indian general election is scheduled to be 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.
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.
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.
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 which was announced by Election Commission of India (ECI) on 10 March 2019, after which Model Code of Conduct was applied with immediate effect. 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. A total of 17.4 lakh VVPAT units will be used in as many as 10,35,918 polling stations during the elections. On 9 April 2019, Supreme Court of India gave the judgement, ordering the Election Commission of India to increase VVPAT slips vote count in five randomly selected EVMs per assembly constituency, which means Election Commission of India has to count VVPAT slips of 20,625 EVMs. 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, making this the largest-ever election in the world. 15 million voters in the age group of 18-19 years are eligible to exercise their right to vote for the first time. 71,735 overseas voters have been enrolled in the electoral rolls for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
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.
|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||97||13||Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Puducherry|
|3||23 April||115||14||Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, 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, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh|
Main article: Campaigning in the 2019 Indian general election
On 12 January 2019, prime minister Narendra Modi launched the Bharatiya Janata Party‘s election campaign, which sought a second term in government. Commentators have suggested that Modi and BJP will base their campaign on Hindu nationalism, relative to their 2014 campaign, which had emphasised job creation and economic development.
On the same day, both 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 Amethi and Rae Bareli as they are represented by Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. The alliance did not include Congress, which Mayawati explained: “Including Congress in the alliance will hurt SP-BSP prospects as Congress’s votes do not get transferred.” The alliance was the second of its kind with a similar coalition formed 25 years ago in 1993.
Among the interventions by the Election Commission was a ban on the use of images of individuals killed in the 2019 Pulwama attack. Later, Teeka Ram Meena, the Chief Election Officer, banned the use of issues related to the Sabarimala temple during the poll campaign.
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.
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.
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.
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 CM Kamal Nath from the Congress Party. This lead to Modi attacking Congress, alledging corruption is part of the “culture” of the party.
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.
Main article: Unemployment in India
Opposition parties have claimed that unemployment has reached crisis levels. The NDA government has denied the existence of any job crisis. Prime minister Narendra Modi claimed that jobs are not lacking but data on jobs has been lacking.
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 unemployment rate in India at 6.1%, a four decade high. The government has claimed that the report was not final.
Agrarian and rural distress
The Congress party campaign has highlighted “agrarian distress” as an election issue. 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. The opposition has accused this as being an attempt to lure voters.
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.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“. Some others have been linked to the opposition Indian National Congress, as well as the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party.
Bharatiya Janata Party
Indian National Congress
|Bharatiya Janata Party||Andhra Pradesh||25||437||National Democratic Alliance|
|Jammu and Kashmir||6|
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||1|
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli||1|
|Daman and Diu||1|
|All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||Tamil Nadu||20|
|Janata Dal (United)||Bihar||17|
|Shiromani Akali Dal||Punjab||10|
|Pattali Makkal Katchi||Tamil Nadu||7|
|Lok Janshakti Party||Bihar||6|
|Bharath Dharma Jana Sena||Kerala||4|
|Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam||Tamil Nadu||4|
|Asom Gana Parishad||Assam||3|
|Apna Dal (Sonelal)||Uttar Pradesh||2|
|All Jharkhand Students Union||Jharkhand||1|
|Puthiya Tamilagam||Tamil Nadu||1|
|Tamil Maanila Congress||Tamil Nadu||1|
|Puthiya Needhi Katchi||Tamil Nadu||1|
|All India N.R. Congress||Puducherry||1|
|Bodoland People’s Front||Assam||1|
|Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party||Nagaland||1|
|Kerala Congress (Thomas)||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|
|Jammu and Kashmir||5|
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||1|
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli||1|
|Daman and Diu||1|
|Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||Tamil Nadu||20|
|Nationalist Congress Party||Maharashtra||20|
|Rashtriya Janata Dal||Bihar||19||20|
|Janata Dal (Secular)||Karnataka||7|
|Jan Adhikar Party||Uttar Pradesh||5|
|Rashtriya Lok Samta Party||Bihar||5|
|Jharkhand Mukti Morcha||Jharkhand||4||5|
|Communist Party of India (State level)||Odisha||1||3|
|Communist Party of India (Marxist) (State level)||Odisha||1||3|
|Hindustani Awam Morcha||Bihar||3|
|Indian Union Muslim League||Kerala||2||3|
|Vikassheel Insaan Party||Bihar||3|
|Apna Dal (Krishna Patel)||Uttar Pradesh||2|
|Jharkhand Vikas Morcha||Jharkhand||2|
|Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi||Tamil Nadu||2|
|Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi||Maharashtra||1|
|Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation (State level)||Bihar||1|
|Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi||Tamil Nadu||1|
|Kerala Congress (M)||Kerala||1|
|Kongunadu Makkal Desia Katchi||Tamil Nadu||1|
|Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam||Tamil Nadu||1|
|Revolutionary Socialist Party (State level)||Kerala||1|
|Yuva Swabhiman Party||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 ||Andhra Pradesh||3||TBA||Mahagathbandhan|
|Jammu and Kashmir||2|
|Samajwadi Party||Madhya Pradesh||3||44|
|Rashtriya Lok Dal||Uttar Pradesh||3|
|Gondwana Ganatantra Party||Madhya Pradesh||1|
|Loktantra Suraksha Party||Haryana||2|
|Punjabi Ekta Party||Punjab||3|
|Lok Insaaf Party||Punjab||3|
|Communist Party of India (State level)||Andhra Pradesh||2||TBA|
|Communist Party of India (Marxist) (State level)||Andhra Pradesh||2|
|Revolutionary Marxist Party of India (State level)||Punjab||1|
|Jana Sena Party||Andhra Pradesh||18||TBA|
|Communist Party of India (Marxist)||Assam||2||65||Left Front|
|Communist Party of India||Bihar||1||9|
|Revolutionary Socialist Party||West Bengal||3|
|All India Forward Bloc||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|
|Makkal Needhi Maiam||Puducherry||1||38|
|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|
|Naam Tamilar Katchi||Puducherry||1||39|
|Aam Aadmi Party||Bihar||3||TBA|
|Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (Lohiya)||Bihar||3||96|
|Jammu and Kashmir||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|
|Uttarakhand Kranti Dal||Uttarakhand||4|
|Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation||Bihar||4||7|
|Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist)||Uttarakhand||1|
|All India Trinamool Congress||Assam||8||72|
|Indian Gandhiyan Party||Bihar||2||66|
|Independent politicians||Andhra Pradesh||TBA||TBA||None|
|Jammu and Kashmir||TBA|
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||TBA|
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli||TBA|
|Daman and Diu||TBA|
Opinion polling and seat projections
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[a]||Majority|
|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||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||India Today||309||102||132||207||37|
|April–May 2014||General election results||336||60||113||276||64|
Results will be announced on May 23.