ELECTIONS HELD IN 1991
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|20 May 1991
12 June 1991
15 June 1991
|Elections were held for 511 seats in the Lok Sabha following premature dissolution of this body on 13 March 1991. General elections had previously been held in November 1989.
Polling was postponed in three of India’s States for security reasons.
|The Lok Sabha was prematurely dissolved by President of Republic R. Venkataraman following various governmental crises. In November 1990, the 11-month-old National Front coalition Government of Prime Minister V.P. Singh lost a parliamentary vote of confidence and Mr. C. Shekhar of the Jamata Dal (Socialist) party was sworn in to lead another minority Government. On 6 March 1991, he in turn resigned after differences with the Congress (I) party of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, paving the way for dissolution of the legislature one week later. The polling dates were then set on 12 April.
Three main political forces confronted each other: the centrist Congress (I), the right-wing Bharatiya Jamata Party (BJP) and the left-wing National Front, a coalition including Jamata Dal (S) and two communist parties. Congress (I), led by M. Gandhi, billed itself as the only group capable of bringing unity and stability to India, particularly by ending sectarian violence and bringing under control the country’s ailing economy (marked especially by inflation, fiscal deficit and foreign debt) through progressive liberalization - a departure from the party’s original orientation to socialism. The ultra nationalist BJP, led by Mr. L.K. Advani, drew inspiration from Hindu political and religious tradition, and advocated a deregulated economy based on self-reliance. The National Front, still led by Mr. V.P. Singh, championed the cause of the downtrodden, calling for a social revolution to break the barriers of caste. Altogether more than 9,000 candidates participated in the four-week campaign, which was peppered by violence.
After the first polling day (20 May), at which 211 of the seats were filled, Mr. Gandhi was assassinated while campaigning near Madras. The remaining election days were consequently postponed until mid-June. Final results produced no absolute majority although there was a clear swing to the right and Congress (I) once again emerged with the largest number of seats. In percentage terms, voter turnout (approximately 53%) was the lowest ever in parliamentary elections.
On 21 June, Mr. P.V. Narasimha Rao of Congress (I) was sworn in as Prime Minister as head of a minority Government; the new Cabinet took oath the same day.
|Round no 1: Elections results|
|Number of registered electors||521,000,000 (approx.)|
|Round no 1: Distribution of seats|
|Bharatiya Jamata Party||119|
|Jamata Dal (JD)||55|
|Communist Party of India - Marxist (CPI (M))||35|
|Telegu Desam (TD)||14|
|Communist Party of India (CPI)||13|
|All-India Anna Dravida Monnetra Kazhagam (A-IADMK)||11|
|Excluding 19 seats where polling postponed, 17 countermanded or withheld results, 2 nominated seats and independent membership.|
|Distribution of seats according to sex:|
|Distribution of seats according to age:|
|Data unavailable on remaining members.|
Copyright © 1991 Inter-Parliamentary Union