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Indian general election, 2019

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.[1][2][3][4]

Legislative Assembly elections in the states of Andhra PradeshArunachal PradeshOdisha and Sikkim will be held simultaneously with the general election.[5][6]

 

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 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.[13] 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,[14][15] making this the largest-ever election in the world.[16] 15 million voters in the age group of 18-19 years are eligible to exercise their right to vote for the first time.[17] 71,735 overseas voters have been enrolled in the electoral rolls for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Election schedule

The election schedule was announced on 10 March 2019, and with it the Model Code of Conduct came into force.[18]

Election Dates of Indian General Election, 2019

 

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.[19]

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

Campaigning

Main article: Campaigning in the 2019 Indian general election

Background

On 12 January 2019, prime minister Narendra Modi launched the Bharatiya Janata Party‘s election campaign, which sought a second term in government.[20] 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.[21][22]

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.[23]

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.[24]

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.[25]

Issues

A number of issues are expected to be of importance in this election. These include the country’s recent conflict with PakistanGST[26]unemployment, and national security.[27]

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.[28]

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.[29]

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.[30][31]

National security

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.[32]

Unemployment

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.[33] Prime minister Narendra Modi claimed that jobs are not lacking but data on jobs has been lacking.[34][35]

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.[36] The government has claimed that the report was not final.[37]

Agrarian and rural distress

The Congress party campaign has highlighted “agrarian distress” as an election issue.[38] 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.[39] The opposition has accused this as being an attempt to lure voters.[40]

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.[41][42]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“.[41][42] Some others have been linked to the opposition Indian National Congress,[42][41] as well as the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party.[42]

Party campaigns

Bharatiya Janata Party

Indian National Congress

Television debates

Campaigning costs

Manifesto

The Congress released its manifesto, titled Congress Will Deliver on 3 April.[43][44]

The BJP released its manifesto, titled Sankalpit Bharat, Sashakt Bharat on 8 April.[45][46]

Participating parties

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[47] 6  
Jharkhand 11  
Karnataka 27  
Kerala 15  
Madhya Pradesh 29  
Maharashtra 25  
Manipur 2  
Meghalaya 2  
Mizoram[48] 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[49] Maharashtra 23  
  All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam[50] Tamil Nadu 20  
  Janata Dal (United)[51] Bihar 17  
  Shiromani Akali Dal[52] Punjab 10  
  Pattali Makkal Katchi[50] Tamil Nadu 7  
  Lok Janshakti Party[51] Bihar 6  
  Bharath Dharma Jana Sena Kerala 4  
  Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam[53] Tamil Nadu 4  
  Asom Gana Parishad Assam 3  
  Apna Dal (Sonelal) Uttar Pradesh 2  
  All Jharkhand Students Union[54] Jharkhand 1  
  Puthiya Tamilagam[55] Tamil Nadu 1  
  Tamil Maanila Congress Tamil Nadu 1  
  Puthiya Needhi Katchi[56] Tamil Nadu 1  
  All India N.R. Congress[57] Puducherry 1  
  Bodoland People’s Front[58] Assam 1  
  Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party Nagaland 1  
  Kerala Congress (Thomas)[59] 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[60] 24  
Manipur 2  
Meghalaya 2  
Nagaland 1  
Odisha 18  
Punjab 13  
Rajasthan 25  
Sikkim 1  
Tamil Nadu 9  
Telangana 17  
Tripura 2  
Uttar Pradesh[61] 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[62] Tamil Nadu 20  
  Nationalist Congress Party[60] Maharashtra 20  
  Rashtriya Janata Dal Bihar 19 20  
Jharkhand 1  
  Janata Dal (Secular)[63] Karnataka 7  
  Jan Adhikar Party[61] Uttar Pradesh 5  
  Rashtriya Lok Samta Party Bihar 5  
  Jharkhand Mukti Morcha[64] Jharkhand 4 5  
Odisha 1  
  Communist Party of India (State level)[62][65] Odisha 1 3  
Tamil Nadu 2  
  Communist Party of India (Marxist) (State level)[62] Odisha 1 3  
Tamil Nadu 2  
  Hindustani Awam Morcha Bihar 3  
  Indian Union Muslim League[62] Kerala 2 3  
Tamil Nadu 1  
  Vikassheel Insaan Party Bihar 3  
  Apna Dal (Krishna Patel)[61] Uttar Pradesh 2  
  Jharkhand Vikas Morcha[64] Jharkhand 2  
  Swabhimani Paksha[60] Maharashtra 2  
  Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi[62] Tamil Nadu 2  
  Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi[60] Maharashtra 1  
  Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation (State level) Bihar 1  
  Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi[62] Tamil Nadu 1  
  Kerala Congress (M) Kerala 1  
  Kongunadu Makkal Desia Katchi[62] Tamil Nadu 1  
  Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam[62] Tamil Nadu 1  
  Revolutionary Socialist Party (State level)[66] Kerala 1  
  Yuva Swabhiman Party[60] 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 [23] Andhra Pradesh 3 TBA   Mahagathbandhan
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 TBA  
Uttar Pradesh 78  
Uttarakhand 4  
  Samajwadi Party[23] Madhya Pradesh 3 44  
Maharashtra 4  
Uttar Pradesh 79  
  Rashtriya Lok Dal Uttar Pradesh 3  
  Gondwana Ganatantra Party[67] Madhya Pradesh 1  
  Loktantra Suraksha Party[68] Haryana 2  
  Punjabi Ekta Party[69] Punjab 3  
  Lok Insaaf Party[69] Punjab 3  
  Punjab Front[69] Punjab 1  
  Communist Party of India (State level)[69] 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)[69] Punjab 1  
  Jana Sena Party[70] Andhra Pradesh 18 TBA  
Telangana TBA  
  Communist Party of India (Marxist)[71] 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 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[72] Bihar 3 TBA  
Chandigarh 1  
Delhi 7  
Goa 2  
Haryana TBA  
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 Bihar 4 7  
Jharkhand 2  
Uttarakhand 1  
  Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) 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  

Endorsements

Media coverage

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[a]   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

Results

Results will be announced on May 23.

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