What makes India’s Lok Sabha elections the world’s largest ‘electoral movement’?


“India gets ready for the celebration of democracy…A mammoth exercise in democracy which is world’s largest electoral movement of man and material,” the Election Commission of India (ECI) says.

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What makes India’s Lok Sabha Elections the world’s largest ‘electoral movement’?

In India, general elections will be held across 28 states and eight Union territories. Besides, India became the world’s most populous country across the world last year. So far, 17 general elections, over 400 state assembly elections, 16 presidential elections and Vice presidential elections have been conducted in the country.

1. Electors

The total number of registered electors or voters in India are around 96.8 crore (968 million), the Election Commission of India said on March 16 while announcing the poll schedule. As many as 49.7 crore are men, 47.1 crore are women, 1.8 crore are firs-time voters, 19.74 crore are young voters, 48,000 are transgenders, 82 lakh are aged above 85 and 2.18 lakh are centenarians.

What’s tally of voters in other countries:

1. United States: Around 16 crore (160 million)

2. Indonesia: Around 20.4 crore (204 million)

3. Pakistan: Around 12.8 crore (128 million)

4. European Union: Around 40 crore (400 million)

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2. Cost of Lok Sabha Elections

The election expenditure by the central government (towards States/UTs having Legislature) for Lok Sabha Elections in 2014 was around 4,000 crore ( 3,87,03,756,024). This includes expenditure towards offices, preparation and printing of electoral roll, charges for conducting elections and issue of photo identity cards.

Meanwhile, the high-level committee on ‘One Nation One Elections’ mentioned in its report submitted earlier in March that “publicly reported estimates of conducting national and state elections, beyond the official costs of conducting elections, range from 4-7 lakh crore”.

Thousands of political parties in India

As of March 15, 2019, there were a total of 2,360 political parties registered with the Election Commission. Of these, seven were recognised as national parties, 52 were recognised as state parties and 2,301 were unrecognised parties.

Here’s a tally of political parties registered and participated in 2014 and 2009


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Source: Election Commission of India

Electoral participation in democracy

Officials and EVMs: Over 55 lakh EVMs and 1.5 crore polling officials will be deployed for the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections.

Voter turnout in the past: In the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the voter turnout was around 67 per cent, while in 2014, it was around 66 per cent.

ALSO READ: Lok Sabha elections 2024 schedule shows polls on 544 seats instead of 543: CEC explains extra-seat factor

Contesting candidates: As many as 8054 candidates contested the Lok Sabha polls in 2019, while 8,251 candidates contested in 2014. The lowest number of contesting candidates was in 1957 when there were 1,519 candidates contesting the Lok Sabha polls. The highest was in 1996 when 13,952 candidates had participated.

Political parties contested: As many as 673 political parties participated in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections — the highest so far. In the 2014 general polls, 464 candidates had participated.

ALSO READ: Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Voting in June for first time since 1991. Here’s why

Polling stations during Lok Sabha polls: There are around 10.5 lakh polling stations currently across the country. The total number of polling stations during the general elections to the 17th Lok Sabha 2019 polls was 10,37,848, as per the ECI data.

Source: Elections Commission of India

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Source: Elections Commission of India

2024 Lok Sabha elections among the longest too

Besides being the largest, this year’s Lok Sabha elections will be the country’s second longest after the first parliamentary elections that were held in 1951-52. The voting period this year will last for over 44 days, while the first-ever national polls had lasted for more than four months.

The World Economic Forum has called 2024 “a historic election year, with elections in 50 countries” to be held this year. It adds that more than 2 billion voters will head to the polls in countries including the United States, India, Mexico and South Africa.

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Published: 19 Mar 2024, 05:52 AM IST


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