Indian general election, 1951
General elections to the first Lok Sabha since independence were held in India between 25 October 1951 and 21 February 1952. The Indian National Congress (INC) stormed into power, winning 364 of the 489 seats and 45% of the total votes polled, over four times as many as the second-largest party. Jawaharlal Nehru became the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the country. Voter turnout was 45.7%. The first votes of this election were cast in the tehsil of Chini in Himachal Pradesh on 25 October 1951.
Before Independent India went to the polls, two former cabinet colleagues of Nehru established separate political parties to challenge the INC's supremacy. While Shyama Prasad Mookerjee went on to found the Jana Sangh in October 1951, Dalit leader B. R. Ambedkar revived the Scheduled Castes Federation (which was later named the Republican Party). Other parties which started coming to the forefront included the Kisan Mazdoor Praja Parishad, whose prime mover was Acharya Kripalani; the Socialist Party which had Ram Manohar Lohia and Jay Prakash Narayan's leadership to boast of and the Communist Party of India. However, these smaller parties knew that they really didn't stand a chance to win against the Congress.
The first general elections, which were conducted for 489 seats in 401 constituencies, represented 26 Indian states. At that time, there were 314 constituencies with one seat, 86 with two seats and one with three seats. The multi-seat constituencies were abolished in the 1960s. There were also 2 nominated Anglo-Indian members.
Scheduled Caste leader and the creator of the constitution B. R. Ambedkar was defeated in the Bombay constituency by a little-known Kajrolkar.
The Speaker of the first Lok Sabha was Shri G.V. Mavalankar. The first Lok Sabha also witnessed 677 sittings (3,784 hours), the highest recorded count of the number of sittings. The Lok Sabha lasted its full term from 17 April 1952 until 4 April 1957.
- Guha, Ramachandra. "Democracy's Biggest Gamble," World Policy Journal, (Spring 2002) 19#1 pp95-103
- Nohlen, D, Grotz, F & Hartmann, C (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume I, p572 ISBN 019924958
- Ramachandra Guha (2008). India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy. ISBN 978-0-06-095858-9.
- "General Election of India 1951, List of Successful Candidate". Election Commission of India. p. 6. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
- Ramachandra Guha (2008). India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy. p. 156. ISBN 978-0-06-095858-9.