The First general elections in India: Nearly 620,000,000 ballot papers were printed.

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The First general elections in India: Nearly 620,000,000 ballot papers were printed.
The First general elections in India: Nearly 620,000,000 ballot papers were printed.

The part results of the first general elections of India were announced on February 10, 1952, 66 years ago. The day is also celebrated as India’s first democratic leap as these were the first general elections in India. Indian National Congress (INC) had won the elections with 364 seats out of 489 seats.

Some key things about the first general elections in India:

  • The first general elections were held between October 25, 1951 and March 27, 1952
  •  About 1874 candidates and 53 parties contested for the elections.
  • The parties contested for 489 seats
  • INC won the elections with 364 seats as the people voted for the party which was led by Jawaharlal Nehru.
  • CPI is the party which finished second with 16 seats as they got about 3.29 per cent votes
  • SOC finished third in the elections with 10.59 per cent votes and winning 12 seats.
  • Approximately 45 per cent of the total votes were polled for INC in the first Lok Sabha elections
  • The population of India was 36 crore, out of which, 17.32 crore population was eligible to vote.

  • The voter turnout for the elections was 45.7 per cent.
  • On a practical front, house-to-house survey across the length and breadth of the country had to be conducted to register every single voter.
  • Since over 70 per cent of the voters could not read or write, the candidates were to be identified by symbols that were assigned to each major party and independent candidates, painted on the ballot-boxes (this was later changed to symbols on the ballot papers).
  • The voters were to place the ballot papers in the box assigned to a particular candidate, and ballot was secret. There were over 224,000 polling booths, one for almost every 1000 voters.
  • Nearly 620,000,000 ballot papers were printed. About a million officials supervised the first general elections that were held over a four-month period spread from October 25, 1951 to March 27, 1952. 173 million voters, both men and women, mostly poor and illiterate, exercising universal adult franchise was a unique experiment in the world. The voter turnout for the elections was 45.7 per cent.
  • There were 1874 candidates belonging to 53 political parties in the fray. 56,000 presiding officers supervised these 2,24,000 polling stations across India. As many as 16,500 clerks were appointed on contractual basis to collate and type electoral rolls in their constituencies.

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