Lok Sabha polls: From Indira's era to rise of NDA, a look at India's electoral history

Here's taking a look at some of the remarkable moments in India's electoral history. 

1951-52: First general elections in Independent India

The first general elections in Independent India were conducted between October 25, 1951, to February 21, 1952.

The polls were conducted under the provisions of the Indian Constitution which was adopted on November 26, 1949.

Since its adoption, the Constituent Assembly was considered as the interim parliament, with the interim cabinet headed by Pt Jawaharlal Nehru.

Following the elections, Jawaharlal Nehru was elected as the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the country after his party Indian National Congress emerged victoriously.


(Photograph:Zee News Network)

1957: Second general elections 

The next general elections in the country were held five years after the first elections.

Held from February 24, 1957, to June 9, 1957, the results again proved a victory for the Indian National Congress. The Communist Party emerged as the second largest party.

In addition, 42 seats went to independent candidates, the highest in any Indian general election.


1962: Final election of Jawaharlal Nehru

The third Lok Sabha elections in the country were held in 1962 from February 19 to 16.

Unlike the previous two elections, each constituency in the country elected a single member following the third Lok Sabha polls.

Jawaharlal Nehru won another landslide victory in his third and final election campaign. 


1967: The era of Indira

The Indian National Congress won the fourth consecutive general election held in the country held in February 1967.

The elections were held under the leadership of Indira Gandhi.

The fourth consecutive victory of INC, however, yielded significantly lower results than what they had achieved in the previous three elections under Jawaharlal Nehru. 

(Photograph:Zee News Network)

1971: Congress' split and Indira Gandhi's victory

The Indian National Congress, under the leadership of Indira Gandhi, won the fifth general elections held in the country in March 1971.

Gandhi's campaign focussed on reducing poverty and won a landslide victory.

Before the elections, the Congress had suffered internal divisions and was split into two factions. The Election Commission had later recognised Indira Gandhi's faction as the successor of the main party.


Morarji Desai's Budget

In a first, the Budget was presented by the Deputy Prime Minister Morarji Desai who was also the finance minister.

Morarji Desai presented the Budget a record 10 times.


The fall of the Congress party

The 1977 elections came after the end of the emergency that Indira Gandhi had imposed in 1975.

The Congress lost nearly 200 seats with Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay losing both their seats.


1984: Indira Gandhi assassinated, Rajiv Gandhi takes over

The 1984 general elections were held in the country immediately after the assassination of the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.

The results gave a landslide victory for the Indian National Congress and Rajiv Gandhi became the next prime minister.

With the second highest mandate, the Telugu Desam Party of NT Rama Rao, a regional political party from Andhra Pradesh, became the first regional party to become a national opposition party.

(Photograph:Zee News Network)

1999: The first non-Congress government elected for full term

A United Front of parties, led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, won a majority and formed the government after the 1999 general elections in India.

This was the first time a non-Congress government could complete its full term of five years.

Vajpayee had served two unsuccessful terms before in 1996 and 1998.


2004-2014: United Progressive Alliance under Manmohan Singh

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by the Indian National Congress formed the government after obtaining the majority of seats in the 2004 general elections.

Manmohan Singh who was elected as the prime minister continued for the next ten years in the country.


2014: Narendra Modi and the historic victory of the National Democratic Alliance

The 2014 general elections in India, which elected the 16th Lok Sabha in the country, marked a huge victory for Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance.

The BJP won 31.0% votes while NDA's combined vote share was 38.5%.

It was the first time since the 1984 election that a party had won enough seats to govern without the support of other parties.

Meanwhile, the election results had given the worst defeat for the Congress, which was unable to form the official opposition in the parliament.